23 August 2013

John Holt is one of the few reggae legends to have never performed at Rototom Sunsplash and we are particularly proud of his presence this year. He started to perform, as a teenager, in 1959 and recorded his first single for Leslie Kong in 1963. The following year he replaced Terence Stamp in the Paragons, accompanying Tyrone Evans and Bob Andy in what was to become one of the most extraordinary vocal groups of the rocksteady era. Just before leaving the group in 1970, this great singer started his hugely successful solo career with his first historic hits such as "Stealing", "Ali Baba" and "A Love I Can Feel" and continued to have great success in England with a series of reggae albums, enhanced by the use of stringed instruments, starting with "1000 Volts of Holt" and ending with "3000 Volts of Holt". In the seventies he collaborated with Channel One in a big way for hits such as "Up Park Camp" and "Tribal War" whilst still having a massive impact on the dancehalls with hits such as the immortal "Police in Helicopter" and "Sweetie Come Brush Me".

Leroy Sibbles' most important contribution to the history of reggae was undoubtedly as member of the Heptones from 1965, one of the biggest vocal groups of the rocksteady era. With their beautiful arias and vocal themes came an extraordinary series of successes, such as "Fattie Fattie", "Ting-a-ling", "Fight to the Top" and "Party Time", which meant this group were responsible for Studio One taking the throne of rocksteady producers, held by their rival Duke Reid, in a period of great competition between the two. On these songs, as well as many others produced by Studio One, Leroy was also the bassist and musical arranger. He also provided another key skill to the label on Brentford Road as discoverer of young talent. While the Heptones continued to be very popular in the seventies, Leroy emigrated to Canada, starting to productive solo career that on occasions involved working once more with the group.

20* Rototom Sunsplash 2013 Love Edition
Aug 17-24 Benicasim Spain