Holt - Living
Legend Award 2004 ReggaeSoca Music Awards
Born on July 2, John Holt
grew up in Greenwich Farm area of Kingston, near the Kingston Harbor.
Today John still loves to spend time at the Greenwich Farm Beach, swimming
and roasting Fish.
John began his musical
career by competing on the Opportunity Hour shows organized by Joseph
Verejohns. "Verejohns was great for giving the youths a chance and
developing talent says John Holt "Sometime he's sort of forgotten,
but we can not forget him because he is the one who gave early
opportunities to Alton Ellis, Dennis Brown, Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths,
Ken Boothe and many others." This was in the days when Opportunity
Hour held finals at the Majestic, Palace and other theaters, giving young
performers the opportunity to try out their sound before a live audience.
After winning Opportunity Hour a record number twenty-eight times the
young John Holt was accosted by Leslie King with a recording deal for
Thirty Pounds. His first recorded song as "Forever I Will Stay".
In 1964, John teamed up with
Alton Ellis to record "Rum Bumpers" that went #1 on the charts.
As John grew in popularity, he received an invitation to be a member of
the Paragons as lead singer. Together with Bob Andy, Tyrone Evans and
Howard Barnett the Paragons made sweet music that is loved
to this day in Jamaica. From
1965- 1968 Rock Steady ruled Jamaica.Who can forget the Rock Steady sounds
of the Paragons "Wear you to the Ball" "Only a Smile",
"Talking Love", "Happy Go Lucky Girl"? From 1965 -1970
sixteen Paragon singles reached #1 on Jamaica's charts."The songs
played on the radio," says John "but you don't get any
John Holt says nothing is
done before its time, everything takes time. "Sometimes when it is a
struggle is really when you will know the sweetness if you go through the
struggle. From you do a work, through the inspiration of Jah everything
happen for a purpose. Sometime you don't know why you have to go through a
struggle, but after a time you see the reason creativity comes from
Jamaica. The foundations have been laid for reggae music, so it's a higher