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The Paragons

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Three groups have recorded under the name “The Paragons”.

1) The Paragons was an influential rocksteady band from Kingston, Jamaica, operating in the 1960s.

2) The Paragons was a doo wop group perhaps best known for their 1957 single Florence.

3.) Charlotte, NC, ’60s garage band. “I saw Abba late last night.”

1) If you’re familiar with the song “The Tide Is High” you probably know it as a huge hit for Blondie, but before Deborah Harry and company got a hold of it, it was a 1960s hit in for the Paragons. Formed in Kingston Jamaica, the Paragons were originally made up of Garth “Tyrone” Evans, Bob Andy, Junior Menz, and Leroy Stamp. In 1964, just before they broke big in Jamaica, Stamp was replaced by John Holt, and Menz (who left to join another Jamaican vocal group the Techniques) was replaced by Howard Barret. The early Paragons sound is heavily influence by American soul music and the singing is in the familiar tight, interlocking harmony style of Jamaican vocal trios and quartets of the early ’60s. In 1964, the group caught the attention of legendary producer Coxsone Dodd who immediately brought the group to Jamiaca’s famous Studio One and under the watchful eyes and ears of Duke Reid (who became the group’s mentor) cut a succession of popular singles such as “Love At Last” and “Good Luck and Goodbye” for Reid’s label Treasure Isle.

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