The Detroit Emeralds  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Detroit Emeralds were an American R&B vocal group, best known in the early 1970s. They are best remembered for their 1973 transatlantic hit single, "Feel the Need in Me".



"The Emeralds" formed as a vocal harmony group in Little Rock, Arkansas, and originally composed of four brothers, Ivory (born September 14, 1941), Abrim (January 12, 1945 - July 6, 1982), Cleophus and Raymond Tilmon. After Cleophus and Raymond left, the remaining Tilmon brothers were joined by childhood friend James Mitchell. Moving to Detroit, Michigan and expanding their name to the Detroit Emeralds, the then trio had their first R&B chart success on Ric-Tic Records, with "Show Time" in 1968.

In 1970, they joined the Westbound record label. When touring in Memphis, Tennessee, they recorded some demo tracks at the Hi recording studios, run by producer Willie Mitchell, to which they then added vocals and strings back in Detroit. This approach worked and brought them another hit, "If I Lose Your Love", which was followed by a run of successes including "Do Me Right", "You Want It, You Got It" and "Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)" which all made the US R&B Top 10 while the latter also reached #24 on the US Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1972.

The song for which they are now best remembered, "Feel The Need In Me", reached #22 US R&B in 1973 and a new longer version four years later also charted. The original track made the top five in the UK Singles Chart in 1973 and the later production also made the UK chart in 1977 (#12). "You Want It You Got It" was re-released in the UK as a follow-up to the initial "Feel The Need In Me", also reaching the UK Top 20 in 1973. Abrim Tilmon wrote all of their hits, while also arranging and producing the tracks. The horns and strings were arranged by the legendary Grammy Award winning arranger, Johnny Allen. The horns and strings were recorded in Detroit with Carl Austin as Concertmaster and Johnny Trudell leading the horns.

By 1974, the group was falling apart, and at one point there were two outfits using the name. Abe Tilmon formed one new group with the Detroit Emeralds' name, James Mitchell along with Marvin Willis wrote for another group, The Floaters - Paul Mitchell of the Floaters being James's brother. James Mitchell, Ivory Tilmon and Marvin Willis continued touring as the Detroit Emeralds, along with several bands and musicians over the years that included; The Flaming Emeralds; (Arthur (Buster) Marbury on drums,Kenny Goodman, and Joseph (Jotown) Slanda on guitars and vocals, who also recorded and toured with The Floaters.)

James Mitchell and Marvin Willis also wrote and produced a single on the Flaming Emeralds for FEE Records, called "Have Some Everybody" which was a minor hit in England in 1977. Among other musicians who worked with the Emeralds over the years were; Michael Henderson on Bass, Freddie Hudson on Bass (who also played on "Float On"), Glynis Martin on bass, KDave Dean on keyboards, Simon Gardner on guitar, Andy Avent on bass and Martin Kautz on drums)along with many others. They stayed active on the oldies and cabaret circuit for some years and Abe even rejoined James, and Ivory for a tour in 1977 and 1978.

Abrim Tilmon died on July 6, 1982, at the age of 37, in his Southfield, Michigan home of a heart attack. It was said a reunion of the group was being planned at the time. He was survived by his wife Janyce, son Steve, and daughter Cathy.


Chart singles

Year Single Chart Positions


1968 "Show Time" 89 22 -
1970 "If I Lose Your Love" - 32 -
"I Can't See Myself Doing Without You" - 41 -
1971 "Do Me Right" 43 7 -
"Wear This Ring (With Love)" 91 18 -
1972 "You Want It, You Got It" 36 5 -
"Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)" 24 4 -
"Feel The Need In Me" 110 22 4
1973 "You're Gettin' A Little Too Smart" - 10 -
"You Want It, You Got It" (reissue) - - 12
"I Think Of You" - - 27
"Lee" - 79 -
1977 "Feel The Need" (re-recording) 90 73 12



Their track "You're Getting A Little Too Smart" was sampled by a number of contemporary artists, including Nas, Raekwon, Limp Bizkit, Main Source, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, DJ Krush, Common, Monica and Chill Rob G. "Feel the Need In Me" was sampled in Andrea T. Mendoza's 2005 club hit, "Can't Fake It". "Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms)" was sampled by De La Soul in "Say No Go". Equally, "I Don't Just Know About This Girl" was sampled by Method Man on his 2004 album, Tical 0: The Prequel. "Watcha Gonna Wear Now" was sampled by J Dilla for his 2006 album Donuts. Whereas, somewhat earlier, "Feel The Need In Me" was covered in 1974 by Graham Central Station, and in 1983 by Forrest.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Detroit Emeralds" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools