The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 20, 2013

Original Tams bringing beach music to town


TARBORO — A fun, relaxing evening of beach and rhythm and blues music is in store for Edgecombe County audiences Friday evening.

The Original Tams, featuring founding member Robert Lee Smith, will transport the crowd back to the 1960’s and 70’s at the 8 p.m. Friday concert in the Keihin Auditorium on Edgecombe Community College (ECC)’s Tarboro campus. The Tams will perform with their five-piece band, “Old School,” in the second to last show in the Edgecombe Performance Series 2012-2013 season.

“It’s a nostalgic R&B type performance, which is very different from the other ones that we’ve had. I think it really adds to the diversity of the season this year,” said ECC’s cultural arts director Eric Greene.

The Tams have been performing for more than 40 years and have recorded 10 albums. The vocal group from Atlanta was at the pinnacle of their success in the 1960’s and 70’s, with songs topping the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom. Among the hits The Tams recorded with ABC Records are ‘What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am?” “Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me,” “Laugh It Off,” “I’ve Been Hurt,” and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” While “Be Young, Be Foolish” only reached No. 26 on the Top 40 charts, the 1968 single sold more than 1 million copies, sending it to Platinum status.

The Tams, originally formed in 1960, took their name from the Tam o’ shanter style of hat the singers chose to wear on stage. The group was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1992 and the South Carolina R&B Beach Music Hall of Fame in 2001. The Tams also received the award of “Beach Band of the Decade” in the 1980’s.

About a month after The Tams’ show, the East Carolina University Symphony Orchestra will give the final performance of the season on the afternoon of April 21. Tickets to that show are free, thanks to support from the Furman-Mathewson Trust. Past performances this season include the New York Theatre Ballet, the North Carolina Symphony, two university a cappella groups, and the country duo Love and Theft with singer Chase Rice as the opening act.

“Each performance has been unique this year,” Greene said. “I think there’s been a little something for everybody in the series.”

Tickets for Friday’s concert are $20 for the general public, and $15 for students, ECC staff and seniors age 65 and over. Tickets are available through the ECC box office, and online at  HYPERLINK "" For more information, call Greene at 823-5166, ext. 187.