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The Paragons

If you're familiar with the song "The Tide Is High" you probably know it as a huge hit for Blondie, but before Deborah Harry and company got a hold of it, it was a 1960s hit for the Paragons. Formed in Kingston, Jamaica, the Paragons were originally made up of Garth "Tyrone" Evans, Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964, just before they broke big in Jamaica, Stamp was replaced by John Holt, and Menz (who left to join another Jamaican vocal group, the Techniques) was replaced by Howard Barret. The early Paragons sound is heavily influence by American soul music, and the singing is in the familiar tight, interlocking harmony style of Jamaican vocal trios and quartets of the early '60s. In 1964, the group caught the attention of legendary producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, who immediately brought the group to Jamaica's famous Studio One and under the watchful eyes and ears of Duke Reid (who became the group's mentor), cut a succession of popular singles such as "Love at Last" and "Good Luck and Goodbye" for Reid's label Treasure Isle.

Not long after this first flush of success, Bob Andy quit the group and the Paragons stopped recording, as John Holt (who by this point had emerged as the group's leader) decided that the group should soften their soulful sound and go for a more root-heavy, rocksteady approach. It turned out to be a good idea as the Paragons became the most popular rocksteady vocal act in Jamaica and in Britain. But money problems, specifically issues over why the group wasn't rich after more than a dozen number one Jamaican hits, led to the band's breakup. Of the bandmembers, only John Holt went on to have a significant solo career. Still, the Paragons recordings, including "The Tide Is High," are some of the most wonderful and sublime moments in Jamaican pop. ~ John Dougan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Studio One Ironsides: Original Classic Recordings 1963-1979

1. Mother And Child

2. Mark My Word

3. I Man A Rasta

4. Natty Ting A Ling

5. Danger In Your Eyes

6. Reggae Version

7. Nanny's Corner

8. Rasta Don't Stop No One

9. Three Mile Skank

10. Another Night

11. Come Now Sister

14. Can I Change My Mind

16. Bongo Red

17. Jamrec Dub

18. I'm Still Waiting

x

Track List: Trojan Presents Rock Steady: 40 Ground-Breaking Hits

Disc 1

1. Bend Down Low

2. 007 (Shanty Town)

3. Take It Easy

4. Buy You A Rainbow

5. Hold Them

6. Sounds And Pressure

8. Mother's Young Gal

9. You're Gonna Need Me

10. The Loser

11. I'm In A Rocking Mood

12. Talking Love

14. Walk The Streets

15. Please Stop Your Lying

16. Julie On My Mind

17. Just Like A River

18. Winey Winey

19. Stop That Train

20. Let Me Go, Girl

Disc 2

1. 54-46 That's My Number

2. Penny For Your Song

3. A Long Story

4. I Am The Upsetter

5. Silent River

6. Ride Your Donkey

7. My Conversation

8. Long Shot

11. Jackpot

12. Engine 54

13. Ah It Mek

14. People Funny Boy

15. It Comes And Goes

16. Good Time Rock

17. Don't Look Back

18. Watch This Sound

19. Intensified '68

20. Bim Today, Bam Tomorrow

Comments

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aracelyalcal a 7 1
Their music is classic & without a doubt good

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