John Holt / July 11, 1947 - Oct 19, 2014

John Holt was a successful Jamaican singer from the rocksteady years thru to pop-reggae, lover's rock/ballads and into the dancehall era along with contributions to some house music productions. Kingston-born, he got his start as a teenager, winning local talent contests before recording sides with Lesley Kong and "Rum Bumper", a duet with Alton Ellis, for Randy Chin.

He joined The Paragons, one of the great groups of the rocksteady era, releasing several singles for Studio 1 and Treasure Isle, including the original versions of "The Tide Is High" and "Wear You To The Ball" (a tune U-Roy had a big hit with, after Holt's introducing U-Roy to Duke Reid). After the Paragons break-up he recorded as a solo for several producers, including Bunny Lee, Prince Buster, Harry Mudie, Phil Pratt, Coxone Dodd, Reid and more.

His work dipped into the pop realm, with covers of Billy Joel, Kris Kristofferson, Isley Brothers, Slade and the likes, with orchestral strings (Time Is The Master) or unabashedly pop moves. In the '80s he cut the slamming "Police In Helicopter", among others, for Junjo Lawes. While he had success covering the songs of others, he wrote a lot of his own material and boldly tried many different styles of music. And of course there's this.

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