Return To 60’s Main Menu Recording Artists Of The 60s 




(Ray Whitley)

ABC-Paramount 10502

No. 9    February 22, 1964




They were Floyd Ashton (August 15, 1933), Horace Key (April 13, 1934), Bob Smith (March 18, 1936) and

the Pope brothers, Charlie (August 7, 1936) and Joe (November 6, 1933).      Each had personally known

poverty.    Each had also found a thrill and a relief in singing.       In the late ’40s, while still high school

students they came together with the predominant goal of escaping from the ghetto, from the deprivation,

from the despair.     They had no funds to attire themselves in flashy stage clothes.       Multi-colored tam-

o’shanter hats were  the best they could do; ergo the their name.


They rehearsed, worked local clubs and stuck with their chosen trade for more than a decade before

they approached Lowery Music, the music publishing and recording hub of rock’n’roll activity in

Atlanta.    The organizations big wheel, Bill Lowery, liked what he heard in Joe’s gravel-throated leads

and the units tight easy-going cohesiveness.      Lowery assigned Joe South to produce them and to

provide them with songs.     The successful pairing continued on for most of the groups recording career.

“Untie Me,” their very first release charted, both pop (#60, 1962) and R&B (#12, 1962).    ABC-Paramount

Records took notice and picked up the groups contract from Harry Finfer’s Arlen label.


At this point the groups only personnel change took place when Ashton stepped aside for Albert Cottle, Jr.

“What Kind of Fool” was their next single and their lone national pop top 40 charting.    Five more singles

by the group (“You Lied to Your Daddy” #70, Pop/#70 R&B, 1964; “It’s All Right” #79 Pop/#79 R&B, 1964;

“Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me” #41 Pop/#41 R&B, 1 965; “Silly Little Girl” #87 Pop/#87 R&B, 1964; “Be Young,

Be Foolish, Be Happy” #61 Pop/#26 R&B, 1968) occupied positions on Billboard’s Hot 100 over the

remainder of the decade; all of which also made the R&B listings.     See, see, not all one-off hitmakers

rapidly return penny-less to the cauldron of obscurity.    Persistence–and something like luck–had paid off

for the fellowsfrom Georgia.


While the Tams never made the U.S. charts after the dawning of the new decade, they continued on a

consistent basis to record fine releases for Lowery’s 1-2-3, Capitol and the Dunhill record labels. To the

surprise of many and not the least being the group itself the Tams’ Dunhill re-issuance of their 1964 “Hey

Girl, Don’t Bother Me” earned them a number one hit on the British charts in the summer months of 1971.

Two years latr, Quality Records of Canada issued a new EP, Beach Music, by the Tams; featuring a remake



The group has been retracted from the bright spotlights of pop idolatry but every so often to the delight

of their many fans the Tams reappear with a new single or two on some small independent record