Paragons

The Paragons

The Paragons were a ska and rocksteady vocal group from Kingston, Jamaica, initially active in the 1960s. Their most famous track was “The Tide Is High“, written by band member John Holt.[1]

The Paragons were originally Garth “Tyrone” Evans, songwriter Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964 Stamp was replaced by singer and songwriter John Holt, and Howard Barrett replaced Menz.[1]

The early Paragons sound used the vocal harmonies of Jamaican groups of the early 1960s. Beginning in 1964, they recorded on the Treasure Isle record label with record producer Duke Reid, songs such as “Memories by the Score”, “On the Beach”, “Only a Smile” and “Wear You to the Ball”, which were later covered by UB40, Horace Andy, Dennis Brown, Massive Attack, and others. Other recordings included “Man Next Door” aka “Quiet Place”/”I’ve Got to Get Away” (1968) and “Happy Go Lucky Girl”. [1][2]

The Paragons’ recordings, including the widely covered “The Tide Is High” from 1967, written by Holt, and featuring the violin of “White Rum” Raymond, are among the highlights of Jamaican popular music.[1] “The Tide Is High” was taken to the top of the UK and US charts by Blondie in 1980;[3] while Atomic Kitten‘s cover version also topped the UK Singles Chart in 2002.[4]

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