Reggae Archivist Roger Steffens Lobbying for Toots Hibbert in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Reggae Archivist Roger Steffens

Reggae Archivist Roger Steffens

[CALIFORNIA] – A drive to get reggae legend Toots Hibbert in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is on track to achieving its goal of 5,000 signatures.

Reggae archivist Roger Steffens said the lobby, which started in October one month after the singer/songwriter’s death, has so far gotten 3,600 signatures.

“When we reach our goal we will submit everything to the Rock Hall. There are several people there now who are quite sympathetic to our cause, and given the strength of his final release, just nominated for the Reggae Grammy, I think we have a very good chance that he will be inducted next year,” said Steffens.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation is scheduled to meet in early 2021 to select the 2021 nominees. The ceremony is scheduled for November in Cleveland, Ohio where the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is headquartered.

This week, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that Got to be Tough, the last studio album by Toots and his group The Maytals, are one of five nominees for Best Reggae Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

If Toots is nominated, and inducted, he would be the third reggae act in the ‘Hall’ after Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. Marley was inducted in 1994; Cliff joined him in 2010.

Toots, Marley and Cliff started their careers as Ska artists during the early 1960s. They all recorded for producer Leslie Kong and Chris Blackwell of Island Records.

The initiative to get Toots in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was started by Steffens and Mike Pawka who operates the niceup.com website out of San Diego, California.

“The idea started shortly after Toots passed away, when Mike Pawka called me for a quote about Toots. I mentioned that I had conducted a Living Legend interview with him at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, back in February of 2007. Meant to be a life- spanning conversation, (and) after two-and-a-quarter hours we had only reached 1969,” Steffens disclosed. “Pawka and I agreed that it was a sad oversight that the man who gave reggae its name had never been inducted into the Hall. ‘Why don’t you start a petition on your site?’ I asked. Pawka agreed, and loaded a link on his home-page to a well-known petitioning site and the response was immediate and impressive, with almost two thousand people not just signing, but leaving comments from all over the world.”

Toots, best known for songs like Bam Bam, Monkey Man, Pomps And Pride, Do The Reggay and Pressure Drop, is loved in the rock world. He toured or collaborated with acts such as The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow.

He won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with True Love in 2005. He died from complications of COVID-19, aged 77, at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.

 

 

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