Electrifying, the one word which most adequately describes THE
TAMLINS. Surely one of (if not the best) harmonizing trio to emerge
from Jamaica. Their sparkling reputation is based on their solid
record of noteworthy achievements and a string of golden hits, like
“Baltimore,” “Ting-A-Ling,” “My Whole World Is Falling Down,”
“Reasons,” and “Go Away Dream,” to name a few.
THE TAMLINS, consisting of Carlton Smith, Derrick Lara and Junior
Moore, started out as a nightclub act in 1970 and by 1972 had won
the “Most Outstanding Group” award in Jamaica. This quickly opened
other doors and shortly thereafter, they signed a recording contract
with one of Jamaica’s then top studios, Dynamic Sounds. Out of this
came “Thick And Thin,” a ballad that made a good impression locally
and drew interest from foreign labels such as Atlantic and Polydor.
THE TAMLINS developed prominence in 1974 with “Eighteen With A
Bullet,” and this paved the way for their first album titled “Black
Beauty,” which was released by Dynamic Sounds and State Recording in
England. THE TAMLINS went on to record for the famous Channel One
which resulted in a chain of hits -– “Hard To Confess,” “That’s
Life,” “Thinking” and “Sweat For You Baby,” and also the group’s
second album, “Tamlins Greatest Hits.” In 1979, they released
“Ting-A-Ling” on the Hawkeye Label in London. “Ting-A-Ling” became a
No. 1 hit on the Black Echoes Chart and also made it to the Top 10
of several other chart.
Inevitably, numerous local artists were clamoring for the sweet
harmony of THE TAMLINS as backing vocals. Willingly, they threw
their musical weight behind performances of artists like Delroy
Wilson, Pat Kelly, John Holt, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh. They later
toured the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden,
Holland, South America and the Eastern Caribbean Islands with Peter
Out of the Tosh relationship developed a rapport with the famed
‘rhythm twins’, Sly and Robbie, of Taxi Productions. THE TAMLINS’
first single on the Taxi Label was “Star,” to be followed by “Laying
Beside You Baby” and then the remake of Nina Simone’s “Baltimore,”
which was also released internationally by EMI. “Baltimore” held the
No. 1 spot for twelve weeks and, indisputably, it was judged the
“Number One 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…..
In 1986, THE TAMLINS performed on “Dancehall ‘86” at Cinema One with
Half Pint, Josey Wales and Culture, among others. They not only got
a standing ovation, but this was judged the “Best Performance of
1986” at the annual Rockers Awards Show. They also “tore the house
down” at Sunsplash ’86 and the Taxi Connection Shows that same year.
Nineteen eighty-seven saw THE TAMLINS featured on the Freddie
Jackson show at the Oceana Hotel, where they proved themselves in
such stellar company, receiving thunderous applause and accolades.
That year THE TAMLINS were nominated in several categories of media
awards and won the award for “Best Performers.” In 1988 THE TAMLINS
released their album, “I’ll Be Waiting” on the Live & Learn Label
and a second album, “Love Divine” for SKD of Miami. A return
engagement with Freddie Jackson was scheduled in 1989– this time at
the Wyndham Hotel, and once again, fans felt they stole the show.
During that year they also participated in shows for the Hugo
Hurricane Fund and the United Nation’s Benefit Show. 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
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.”
They were the first Jamaican musical group to have been featured on
a top-rated television series.
Performing on stage shows in Jamaica such as the very popular "Rebel
Salute" and numerous vintage shows The Tamlins continue to stay in
the spotlight and show their longevity. More importantly though,
they continue to put out solid reggae music decade after decade.
Their new album "Crossroads" was released in 2013.