The Tamlins are one of the best harmonizing vocal trio groups to emerge from Jamaica. Electrifying is the word which most adequately describes them. 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”.
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 Tosh.
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 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 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.” They were the first Jamaican musical group to have been featured on a top-rated television series.
The Tamlins continue performing on stage shows in Jamaica such as the "Rebel Salute" and numerous vintage shows and festivals in Europe and the US. The Tamlins continue to stay in the spotlight and show their longevity. They also continue to put out solid reggae recordings decade after decade.
Ting A Ling
Go Away Dreams
Live Performances ~
Summer Splash 1989
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2014
Reggae Jam 2013