In a world which still tries to force the evil and false philosophy of white supremacy down the throat of the people, they would have us believe that Bob Marley is bigger than Reggae because of his white father. The truth is, while Bob Marley gained international fame and fortune from reggae music, he pales in comparison to some of the real geniuses of Reggae music.
Today we look at John Holt.
John Holt is among the greatest songwriters to come out of Jamaica; a list that includes Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Gregory Isaacs and Jimmy Cliff.
Holt, who emerged in the 1960s Rocksteady era is one of the most influential artist out of Jamaica. His influence includes Dennis Brown, Johnny Clarke and Errol Dunkley, all of whom covered his songs.
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!
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 artiste 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 1970s with the album 1000 Volts of Holt, which sold strongly in the United Kingdom. It remains one of the best selling reggae titles in the UK.
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.
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.
So why isn’t The Skatalites talked about by Jamaicans the way Bob Marley is? Because their mothers and fathers were both Black so they never got the stamp of approval from white people. Unfortunately, most Black people (especially in Jamaica) only value what white people tell them is valuable.