Trammps Singer Jimmy Ellis Passes Away at 74

The man who sang out Disco Inferno for the Trammps, Jimmy Ellis, passed away on Thrusday at a nursing home in Rock Hill, SC from an undisclosed illness. He was 74.

The official site for the group posted the following:
Jimmy Ellis

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of our friend and original lead singer, Jimmy Ellis, on Thursday, March 8, 2012 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Jimmy's contrubutions to the group, both in his personality and in his amazing tenor, will never be forgotten. We join the Ellis family and frends and fans all over the world in mourning his loss. Jimmy will best be remembered as the Trammps' lead singer from the group's beginnings in the early 1970s, through all of our great hits, until his retirement in 2010.

God speed, Jimmy. You will always be remembered with love and respect.
The Trammps started in the mid-60's as the Volcanos, making it to number 33 on the R&B charts with Strom Warning (1965). The grouped worked around the country for a number of years after, at one point changing their name to the Moods, before becoming the Trammps in 1972 with Ellis, Harold and Stanley Wade and Earl Young.

Picked up by Buddah records, their first hit under the new lineup was a cover of Zing Went the Strings of My Heart (1972/#17 R&B/#64 Pop). Over the next three years, the moved between a number of labels, including their own Golden Fleece, before returning to Buddah for their first big hit, Hold Back the Night (1976/#10 R&B/#35 Pop).

Later in 1976, the group moved to Atlantic Records where they would have a string of hits starting with That's Where the Happy People Go (1976/#12 R&B/#27 Pop) and peaking with Disco Inferno (1977/#9 R&B/#11 Pop) which was included on the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

Their chart hits ended in 1983 but they continued to tour throughout the years. Except for a couple of years when he took a hiatus, Ellis was part of the group up until two years ago.

Ellis is survived by his wife, Beverly, a son, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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