Toots and friends

August 13, 2013

studio 1

This guy has put together a bunch of rare roots reggae and ska compilations made entirely from his personal collection of 45s. He’s got a lot of versions I’d never heard before. Here are some of my faves, most from the mid ’70s.

MP3: Freddie McKay-Since I Met You

I thought I’d collected everything John Holt and the Paragons ever released before the late ’70s but apparently not. Check out this beaut:

MP3: John Holt-I’m Your Man

I owe an apology to Toots Hibbard. I devour any and all things reggae, but I’ve never really had a hankering for he and his Maytals. I read the great Reggae Routes years ago and the authors flat out stated time and time again that beside Bob Marley (who is #1 in everyone’s book) Toots & the Maytals are the rulers, period. They made a strong case for their love, but I just couldn’t agree… even after seeing Toots’s amazing live show more than once.
But I’ve finally come around after listening to this guy’s collection of Maytals rarities. Below is a ska number in which Toots sings about going straight to university hospital because he’s got a belly ache. Makes me appreciate 54-46 (That’s My Number) all the more. Toots really IS number one… I mean number two.

MP3: Maytals- Pain In My Belly

I usually don’t like instrumentals from the early years but this one is quite a scorcha:

MP3: Reggaeites- Harris Wheel



  1. Nice little post- Hadn’t heard any of those tunes before- that Maytals one is so catchy, perfected that feel good ska sound. The John Holt track is another highlight.

  2. Its about time you came around to Toots.
    Sometimes you can be just a bit too stubbornly opinionated, IMHO
    No offense intended, but you have, in the past, shot down one or two of my classic music favorites that are widely appreciated.

    • …like Beck? Ugh. 🙂

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