The Paragons

The Very Best of the Paragons: Florence

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The Paragons were a classy Brooklyn harmony quintet who combined doo wop vocals with refined rock & roll backing to produce several interesting singles at the end of the 1950s. After hooking up with writer/producer and label owner Paul Winley, and led by Julius McMichael's high-tenor singing and fine songwriting abilities, the group produced a marvelous two-sided single in 1957, "Florence"/"Hey Little School Girl." The dramatic piano intro on "Florence" was played and arranged by Dave Cortez (of "The Happy Organ" fame), and his input on Paragons material was crucial to the group's easy, elegant sound. McMichael left the group as the '60s dawned and was replaced by Bill Witt and a move from the Winley label to Tap. The Paragons sorely missed McMichael's writing gift, however, and their later career consisted of competent, but uninspiring, covers of standards like "Begin the Beguine" and "Danny Boy." This collection is almost evenly divided between the Winley and Tap years and is set up chronologically, presenting a true, early history of this very fine group.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:43
2 2:16
3 2:42
4 2:17
5 2:23
6 2:16
7 2:47
8 2:51
9 2:13
10 2:01
11 2:30
12 2:09
13 2:26
14 2:19
15 3:09
16 2:35
17
3:13
18 3:14
19 3:37
20 2:09
21
2:08
22 2:26
23 2:29
24 3:13
25
2:36
26 2:34
27 2:15
28 2:40
blue highlight denotes track pick