|Born||26 May 1948|
|Associated acts||The Termites
Skin, Flesh & Bone
We the People Band
Parks' interest in music was fuelled by his uncle Dourie Bryan, who played in a calypso band, and Parks became the band's singer. In the late 1960s, he performed with the Invincibles band (whose members also included Ansell Collins, Sly Dunbar and Ranchie McLean) before teaming up with Wentworth Vernal in The Termites. In 1967, they recorded their first single, "Have Mercy Mr. Percy", and then an album Do the Rocksteady for Coxsone Dodd's Studio One label. After recording "Rub Up Push Up" for the Dampa label, Parks and Vernal split up. Parks then briefly joined The Techniques as a replacement for Pat Kelly, recording tracks such as "Say You Love Me", before embarking on a solo career and later starting his own label, Parks. His second single was the classic "Slaving", a moving song about the struggles of a working man. As a solo artist, he recorded a number of songs for Prince Tony Robinson, including "Trenchtown Girl" and "You Don't Care". Some of his best known solo hits include "Officially", "Mafia" (both 1974), "Girl In The Morning" and "Baby Hang Up The Phone" (both 1975).
Parks was a studio bass player, backing many of the reggae artists, including Justin Hinds on Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. He was a member of Skin, Flesh and Bones along with Ansell Collins on keyboards, Tarzan on keyboards, and Ranchie MacLean on guitar. This group backed Al Brown on his hit "Here I am Baby", and many other artists. When Skin Flesh and Bones started playing for the Channel One Studios, Parks renamed the band The Revolutionaries. Parks was also a member of Joe Gibbs' house band, The Professionals, performing hits such as Althea & Donna's "Up Town Top Ranking", and in the 1970s he backed artists including Dennis Brown, The Abyssinians, The Itals, The Gladiators, Culture and Prince Far I.
In 1974, he founded the We the People Band, who backed Dennis Brown on tour and have been regulars at the Reggae Sunsplash and Reggae Sumfest festivals. The band also included singer Ruddy Thomas and a horn section of Tony Greene (saxophone), Everol Wray (trumpet), and Everald Gayle (trombone), and with the band continuing for over thirty-five years, the line-up has included Parks' daughter Tamika on keyboards and his son Craig "Leftside" Parks on drums.
- Officially (1974, Attack)
- Girl In The Morning (1975, Trojan)
- Loving You (1976, Trojan)
- Meet the people (1978, Parks)
- Jeans, Jeans (1985, Tad's)
- What More Can I Do (1983)
- Still Officially Yours, The Collection 1970-2004 (2005, Parks Records)
- Larkin, Colin: "The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae", 1998, Virgin Books, ISBN 0-7535-0242-9
- Shakespeare, Keisha (2006) "Like father, like son", Jamaica Gleaner, 27 February 2006, retrieved 2011-04-29
- Moskowitz, David V. (2006) Caribbean Popular Music: an Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, and Dancehall, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33158-8, p. 316-7
- "For You, Father!", Jamaica Observer, 20 June 2010, retrieved 2011-04-29