Oswald ‘Ossie’ Holt—

Though he placed third in a 1956 Vere Johns Opportunity Hour talent contest and sang in English pubs, Oswald ‘Ossie’ Holt never took music seriously as his younger brother John Holt.

But in June, at age 78, his first song was released. Forever I Pray is produced by Neol Davies, founder of British 2 Tone band The Selecter.

Holt, who has lived in the United Kingdom since 1958, said he played a demo of the song for John when he visited England in 2014.  He wanted his famous brother to record it, but he died in London in October that year. Holt next pitched the song to John’s sons, Brian and Garth, both singers, who live in Connecticut.

“But Neol said, ‘why don’t you do it?’, and we went to the studio and recorded it with him putting all the music to it,” Holt told the Jamaica Observer.

Davies produced two cuts of Forever I Pray. The second is done with Daddy Woody, a Jamaican deejay who lives in London.

John Holt

John Holt

For Holt, cutting his first song as a senior citizen is no big deal. “It happened totally by accident. If Winston (John’s nickname) was around, he would have done it,” he said.

The second of six children born to Frank and Amy Holt, Ossie grew up in Greenwich Farm, Kingston. A certified electrician, he was once a member of a short-lived group that included John.

He moved to the UK 58 years ago, settling in the Midlands city of Coventry. From there, he followed John’s career as a member of The Paragons in the late 1960’s, to his peak as a solo act in the 1970’s when he developed a massive audience in the UK.

Ossie Holt and sister Patsy

Ossie Holt and sister Patsy @ the launching of “1000 Volts Of Holt”

Ossie Holt was in Kingston recently for the launch of ‘1000 Volts Of Holt’, a benefit show initiated by his sister Patsy. It will first be held in July 2017 to mark John Holt’s 72nd birthday.

— By Howard Campbell

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