RIP Toots!

Toots, of Toots and The Maytels, passed away. I saw him three times and he was a dynamic, inspirational performer. Spreading his great Reggae music. As a matter of fact, he named the genre. Bob Marley popularized it, But, Toots was the King! 
 He did John Denver's Rocky Mountain High, like Jimi did Dylan's All Along the Watchtower. Gave it Soul!
Reggae Got Soul!
Toots Got Soul!

Just got my copy of his latest release yesterday. One of my favorite Toots albums is "Toots in Memphis" from 1988. Toots and the Maytals was the second signing of Chris Blackwell for Island Records. Blackwell had signed Toots and Bob Marley to start the label and then went on to sign Cream, Steve Winwood, and U2 among others. In 1988, flush with cash, Blackwell wanted to reboot Toot's career because at the time, the Maytals had broken up. Some people suggested a joint venture with some U.K. ska bands, but instead, Blackwell sent Toots to Memphis to record with Jim Dickinson. Toots brought Sly and Robbie for the rhythm section and Dickinson brought in the Memphis Horns and guitarist Teenie Hodges (who wrote "Take Me to the River"). The end result was a collection of soul cover songs from the likes of Otis Redding and Al Green. The reggae influenced rhythm section combined with the periodic punch of the Memphis Horns made for some delightful moments on covers of "Love and Happiness" and "It's A Shame". I don't think this album necessarily rebooted Toot's career, but he sure seemed to be having a good time. You can still find copies of this gem on amazon etc. I will miss Toots Hibbert and his spirit of adventure and musicianship.    
A quick check at Amazon showed only one joker trying to sell Toots in Memphis for $129. Discogs and Ebay have more reasonable prices.