Electrifying, is the word which most adequately describes THE TAMLINS, one of the best harmonizing trios to emerge from Jamaica. Their sparkling reputation is based on their solid record of achievements and a string of golden hits, like “Baltimore,” “Ting-A-Ling,” “Thick and Thin”, My Whole World Is Falling Down,” “Reasons,” “Laying Beside You” and “Go Away Dream”.
THE TAMLINS – started out as a nightclub act in 1970 and by 1972 had developed a strong fan base with their tight, smooth harmony on hits like “Thick And Thin,”and “Eighteen With A Bullet,” paving the way for their first album titled “Black Beauty,” released by Dynamic Sounds and State Recording in England. THE TAMLINS went on to record for the famous Channel One label, coming up with a chain of hits including “Hard To Confess,” “That’s Life,” “Thinking” and “Sweat For You Baby.” and also the group’s second album, “Tamlins Greatest Hits”.
They struck it big in 1979, when they released “Ting-A-Ling” on the Hawkeye Label in London. “Ting-A-Ling” became a No. 1 hit on the Black Echoes Chart in England and also made it to the Top 10 of several other reggae charts abound the world.
Inevitably, numerous local artists were clamoring for the sweet harmony of The Tamlins to do backing vocals; and they threw their musical weight behind artists like Delroy Wilson, Pat Kelly, John Holt, Rita Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh. They later toured the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Japan, South America and the Eastern Caribbean Islands with Peter Tosh as part of his Word, Sound and Power band including rhythm twins Sly & Robbie.
Out of the Tosh relationship came the big link, with the famed ‘rhythm twins’, Sly and Robbie of Taxi Productions. Their first single on the Taxi Label was “Stars,” followed by “Laying Beside You”, and then the remake of Nina Simone’s classic “Baltimore,” which was also released internationally by EMI. “Baltimore” held the No. 1 spot for twelve weeks and was judged the “Record of the Year” in Jamaica on JBC’s “Top 100” for 1980. The group also won the “Best Group” Award from JBC, Radio Jamaica and the Daily News that same year…..
The 80s was certainly a great period for the Tamlins with standing ovations, great reviews of their performances on top shows like the Rockers Awards, Sunsplash and Taxi Connection plus several more media awards. They also featured on the Freddie Jackson show at the Oceana and Wvndham Hotels.
In 1988 THE TAMLINS released two more albums, “I’ll Be Waiting” on the Live & Learn Label and “Love Divine” for SKD of Miami. The self-produced single, “Hurt So Good,”
was also released that year, to critical acclaim. Tours of Japan in 1987, performances at Madison Square Garden and in Washington, D.C. and the Detroit, Michigan award for “Top Jamaican Group” are some of the highlights and best held memories of this talented trio.
The nineties found THE TAMLINS celebrating two decades of success in the music industry, with gems still popping up on the charts. They also had a successful tour of Japan with artists such as the I-Threes, Admiral Bailey and Tiger.
One of the high points of The Tamlins’ career was performing in an episode of “Miami Vice,” a popular television show during that decade. They wrote and performed several songs for an episode of the show entitled, “Soul On Ice”, becoming the first Jamaican musical group to have been featured on a top-rated television series.
Performing on stage shows such as “Rebel Salute” and numerous vintage shows, The Tamlins (comprising Carlton Smith, Derrick Lara and Junior Moore), continue to stay in the spotlight and show their longevity, with their latest album “Crossroads” released last year.. More importantly though, they continue to put out solid reggae music and will definitely add to their laurels on Saturday, July 13 when they make their long-awaited return to the STARTIME stage which they have blessed several times over the years.