b. 26 May 1948, Walton Gardens, Jamaica, West Indies. A renowned singer and bass player, after completing his studies in music, Parks toured the north coast of Jamaica, performing on stage with his uncle. In the late 60s, Parks performed with the Invincibles band, whose personnel at that time also included Ansell Collins (organ), Sly Dunbar (drums) and Bertram GÇÿRanchieGÇÖ Mclean (guitar). He then teamed up with Wentworth Vernon as half of the vocal duo the Termites, who recorded one album for Coxsone DoddGÇÖs Studio One and enjoyed a number of hits produced by Dodd, including GÇÿDo It Right NowGÇÖ, GÇÿHave Mercy Mr PercyGÇÖ, GÇÿMy Last LoveGÇÖ and the legendary GÇÿRub Up Push UpGÇÖ. After three years, the duo split and Parks was drafted into the Techniques to replace Pat Kelly, joining Dave Barker and producer Winston Riley. Although he was only in the line-up for a brief period, he was reputed to have sung on the classic GÇÿYou DonGÇÖt CareGÇÖ, which he later recorded as a soloist in a medley of his hits. His solo recording GÇÿStarsGÇÖ was a minor hit but it was his version of GÇÿSlavingGÇÖ that won him international acclaim. The song was used by I. Roy for his classic GÇÿBlack Man TimeGÇÖ and by Big Youth for GÇÿHonestyGÇÖ. He recorded GÇÿSay You Love MeGÇÖ for Riley in 1969, and played bass on Dave And Ansell CollinsGÇÖ international hits GÇÿDouble BarrelGÇÖ (1970) and GÇÿMonkey SpannerGÇÖ (1970). By 1970 he was recording for producers Sonia Pottinger (GÇÿWe Will Make LoveGÇÖ) and Harry J. (GÇÿA Little BetterGÇÖ).
In addition to his singing, Parks is also regarded as one of JamaicaGÇÖs top bass players and his work in the line-up of Skin Flesh And Bones, alongside Sly Dunbar, Errol Nelson and Bertram GÇÿRanchieGÇÖ Mclean, is legendary. The groupGÇÖs cover version of Neil DiamondGÇÖs GÇÿSolitary ManGÇÖ was a hit in the reggae chart. He also joined the Thoroughbreds house band, playing KingstonGÇÖs Tit-for-Tat club. Parks continued making records in an expressive falsetto/tenor voice for a variety of producers including Glen Brown (GÇÿSlavingGÇÖ) and Prince Tony Robinson, and when Parks launched his own label in 1973 it was initially distributed from RobinsonGÇÖs shop. Among his Jamaican hits were the huge smashes GÇÿOfficiallyGÇÖ (1974), GÇÿMafiaGÇÖ (1974), GÇÿGirl In The MorningGÇÖ and GÇÿBaby Hang Up The PhoneGÇÖ (1975). Parks continued session work on bass with Skin Flesh and Bones, and by 1976 was playing bass in both the Revolutionaries and Professionals studio bands. When Skin Flesh And Bones evolved into Joe GibbsGÇÖ house band, the Professionals, the group performed on classic mid-70s hits backing Culture, Dennis Brown, Prince Far I, Trinity and the UK number 1 hit for Althea And Donna, GÇÿUp Town Top RankingGÇÖ. The sessions also resulted in a series of dub albums that still enjoy healthy sales. In 1978, he formed We The People Band, recording and touring, principally with Dennis Brown. He continued to combine session work and toured with the same band into the early 90s. He also toured with fellow Studio One veterans Freddie McGregor and Marcia Griffiths. On 25 October 1999 Parks was awarded the Order Of Distinction (Office Class) for his contribution to Jamaican music.
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