The Encyclopedia of Popular Music Copyright Muze UK Ltd., 1989 - 1998, states that this very popular US group was formed in 1952 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA Their line-up featured : Joseph Pope, Charles Pope, Robert Lee Smith, Horace Key.
Although such an early origin suggests longevity, it was not until 1960 that the group emerged with a single on Swan. Now dubbed the Tams (derived by their wearing of Tam O'Shanter hats on stage), they added a further member, Floyd Ashton, prior to signing with Bill Lowery, an Atlanta song publisher and entrepreneur. Among those already on his books were Joe South and Ray Whitley, two musicians who would work closely with the group. Untie Me, a South composition, was recorded at Fame and leased to Philadelphia's Arlen Records.
The song became a Top 20 US R&B hit. In 1963, Lowery secured a new deal with ABC Paramount. The Tams' first single there, 'What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am), reached the US Top 10 and established a series of Whitley-penned successes. His compositions included 'You Lied To Your Daddy' and 'Hey Girl Don't Bother Me', ideal material for Joe Pope's lead and the group's polished harmonies.
After 1964, the group preferred Atlanta's Master Sound audio, by which time Albert Cottle had replaced Ashton. South and Whitley continued their involvement, writing, playing on and producing various sessions. In 1968 they produced another hit with the bubbling 'Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy', which peaked on the Billboard R&B chart at 26 and reached the UK Top 40 in 1970. By the end of the 60s their mentors bad moved elsewhere while the Master Sound house band was breaking up.
The Tams moved to 1-2-3 and Capitol Records where a reissue of 'Hey Girl Don't Bother Me' became a surprise UK number 1 in 1971. Their association with the Shag, a dance craze and subsequent 80s film secured a further lifeline to this remarkable group, giving the group a UK Top 30 with 'There Ain't Nothing Like Shaggin'.
The Tams ever popular in the 90's, recorded 'Flesh and Bones' with Super Star Jimmy Buffett and joined him on the 'Beach House on the Moon Tour. The Tams began the new millennium by debuting their new album "Steppin' Out in the Light" with guest artist, G.C. Cameron of The Spinners featured on "Walkn' Dr. Bill".
(The IMA:) The Tams have recorded 13 albums and have been performing for over 37 years.The bands first hit "Untie Me" came about in 1962. They have had 1 Platinum & 2 Gold records. They were featured in 'Top of The Pops" and have traveled the world over.
They have been featured in such magazines as Gold Mine and have a very established history as pioneers in the music industry. They have also been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, the Beach Music Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Hall of Fame and were voted Outstanding Black Musical Group and 80's Beach Band of the Decade.
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