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John Holt

Reggae singer born in 1947 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was another regular performer at the popular Vere Johns talent shows and in 1963 he cut his first single, ?I Cried A Tear? / ?Forever I?ll Stay? for Leslie Kong?s Beverleys label. However, it was as lead singer of The Paragons between 1965 and 1970 that his singing career really took off, recording a string of Rocksteady hits for Duke Reid?s Treasure Isle label, Coxsone Dodd?s Studio One and Prince Buster . They are probably best remembered for the Holt-penned song ?The Tide Is High?, later covered by Blondie

In 1970 he went solo, by now one of reggae?s biggest stars and he successfully crossed over to the pop market, recording tracks with Bunny Lee that would have string arrangements added to them in London and then released on the Trojan label. The biggest selling of these was his version of Kris Kristofferson?s ?Help Me Make It Through The Night?. But he was always more than a cover version balladeer, as heavy roots classics such as ?Up Park Camp? and ?Police In Helicopter? would later demonstrate.

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