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Toots and the Maytals: Reggae Soul

The ska and reggae legends in Toots and the Maytals have long been known for their unique fusion of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. From its origins at Studio One in Kingston, Jamaica, the group became a sensation in the early '60s after releasing songs such as "Hallelujah" and "I'll Never Grow Old."

Though the band seemed at risk of dissolving when leader Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was jailed for drug possession in 1966, Toots and the Maytals took a major leap forward after his release the following year. In 1967, the group joined acclaimed producer Leslie Kong and soon released a series of hits, including the classic "Pressure Drop." In 1968, the group released its single "Do the Reggay," and is now credited with coining the word "reggae."

In 2005, the band won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album for True Love, which they recorded with musicians such as Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Ben Harper and The Roots. A year later, Toots and the Maytals recorded a reggae/ska version of Radiohead's "Let Down" with the Easy Star All-Stars on the album Radiodread. Their latest album is Light Your Light.

Copyright 2007 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.