Petition Launched for Induction of Reggae Legend Toots Hibbert Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Mourning The Passing of Mr. Frederick Nathaniel 'Toots' Hibbert
Frederick Nathaniel ‘Toots’ Hibbert

by Howard Campbell

SOUTH FLORIDA – A petition seeking the induction of reggae legend Toots Hibbert into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, has been launched. It is a joint initiative between Mike Pawka of the niceup.com website in San Diego, California and reggae historian Roger Steffens.

Toots died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica on September 11, 12 days after being admitted there for breathing problems. He was 77.

According to Wayne Jobson, who is part of the thrust for the artist’s induction, “We are hoping to get a few thousand signatures.”

Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff are the only Jamaican and reggae acts in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame which was established in 1983 in Cleveland, Ohio. Marley was inducted in 1994 while Cliff got his place in 2010.

Hall of Fame stipulations require that, “Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”

Jobson, who knew Toots for many years, said he deserves a place in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

“The genius musician Robbie Robertson (from The Band) is on the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Committee. Robbie was in Jamaica, so Chris Blackwell and I told him that Toots had invented the word reggae and helped to invent the sound. So Robbie said that Toots should be in the Hall of Fame,” Jobson disclosed.

Blackwell is the founder of Island Records which distributed many of Marley, Cliff and Toots’ most memorable work.

From Clarendon parish in central Jamaica, Toots was born Frederick Hibbert. His religious upbringing inspired his early songs like Six And Seven Books of Moses, Daddy, Bam Bam, Monkey Man, Pomps And Pride and Pressure Drop, which are reggae standards.

His 1968 song, Do The Reggay, is said to have given a music its name.

Toots won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2005 with True Love. In 2012, he was awarded the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fourth highest award, for his contribution to Jamaican music.



South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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