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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.
The Paragons were originally Garth "Tyrone" Evans, Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964 Stamp was replaced by John Holt, and Howard Barret replaced Menz.
The early Paragons sound was influenced by American soul music and used the tight vocal harmonies of Jamaican groups of the early 1960s. In 1964, the group caught the attention of the record producer, Duke Reid, and they cut a succession of singles for his Treasure Isle record label including "Memories by the Score", "On the Beach", "Only a Smile", "Wear You to the Ball", and "Happy Go Lucky Girl".
After this early success Bob Andy quit the group, and the Paragons abandoned their soulful sound to become the most popular rocksteady act in Jamaica, but disagreements over money led to the band's break-up in 1970. Of the band's other members, only John Holt went on to have a significant solo career.
The Paragons' recordings, most famously "Tide Is High", written by Holt, and featuring the violin of "White Rum" Raymond, are among the highlights of Jamaican popular music. "The Tide Is High" was taken to the top of the UK and US charts by Blondie in 1980; whilst Atomic Kitten's cover version also topped the UK Singles Chart in 2002.
The group reformed in the late 1970s and released further albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s.