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THE LEGENDARY JOHN HOLT: ALL 1000 VOLTS OF HITS!

John Holt was among the flood of vocalists who emerged during the rocksteady era of the 1960’s. He is one of Jamaican music’s most influential artists.

Born in Greenwich Town, Kingston, by age 12 he was a regular in talent contests. The best known of these was Vere Johns Opportunity Knocks which he won 28 times!

John Holt

John Holt

Holt recorded his first single in 1963, Forever I’ll Stay, for producer Leslie Kong. He also recorded a duet with Alton Ellis, Rum Bumper, for Vincent “Randy” Chin.

He had a remarkable career with harmony group The Paragons during the rocksteady era. The trio’s hit songs included On The Beach, Hooligan and The Tide Is High.

As a solo artist his career was just as impressive. Ali Baba, Fancy Make-up, A Love I Can Feel, Stick By Me and My Heart Is Gone were some of his hits

Holt’s peak came in the early 1970’s with the album 1000 Volts of Holt, which sold strongly in the United Kingdom. It remains one of the bestselling reggae titles in the UK.

A young John Holt

A young John Holt

He found a new audience during the late 1970s when he recorded a series of hard-core reggae songs at Channel One. Holt’s big songs there included Police in Helicopter and Up Park Camp.

John Holt made a lasting impression on singers such as Dennis Brown, Johnny Clarke and Errol Dunkley, all of whom covered his songs.

For his contribution to Jamaica’s music industry, he was invested with an Order of Distinction by the Government in 2004.

Holt died in England on October 20, 2014 from cancer. He was 69 years old.

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