|Origin||Philadelphia, United States|
|Labels||Golden Fleece Records
Philadelphia International Records
|Past members||Jimmy Ellis
Gene "Faith" Jones
Harold Doc Wade
The band's first major success was with their 1972 cover version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart". The first disco track they released was "Love Epidemic" in 1973. However, they are best known for their Grammy winning song, "Disco Inferno", originally released in 1976, becoming a UK pop hit and US R&B hit, then re-released in 1978 and becoming a US pop hit.
The music journalist Ron Wynn noted "the Trammps' prowess can't be measured by chart popularity; Ellis' booming, joyous vocals brilliantly championed the celebratory fervor and atmosphere that made disco both loved and hated among music fans."
The history of the Trammps grew from the 1960s group, the Volcanos, who later became the Moods. With a number of line-up changes by the early 1970s, the band membership included gospel-influenced lead singer, Jimmy Ellis, drummer and bass singer, Earl Young, with brothers, Stanley and Harold 'Doc' Wade. Members of the Philadelphia recording band, MFSB played with the group on records and on tour in the 70s with singer, Robert Upchurch joining later. The group was produced by the Philadelphia team of Ronnie Baker, Norman Harris and Young, all MFSB mainstays who played on the recording sessions and contributed songs.
Their first few recordings were released on Buddah Records, including "Hold Back The Night" which was a hit in the UK and on the Billboard R&B chart in 1973, before a re-release saw it climb the U.S. Hot 100 two years later. Several R&B hits followed during a stay with Philadelphia International subsidiary, Golden Fleece (run by Baker-Harris-Young) before they signed to Atlantic Records.
Other major hits included "Hold Back the Night" (1975) (UK #5) and "That's Where the Happy People Go" (1976). In late 1977, the Trammps released the song "The Night the Lights Went Out" to commemorate the electrical blackout that affected New York City on July 13, 1977.
Their signature song, "Disco Inferno", has been covered by Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper. In addition, Graham Parker covered "Hold Back The Night" on the "The Pink Parker EP" in 1977, and reached #20 in the UK Singles Chart, and Top 60 in the US.
On September 19, 2005, the group's "Disco Inferno" was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame at a ceremony held in New York. The song was part-written by Ron Kersey, a producer-arranger and a member of MFSB, who also played with Trammps in the 1970s for a time. During the ceremony, the original band members performed together for the first time in 25years.
Two versions of the group, with differing line-ups, currently tour the nostalgia circuit.
On March 8, 2012, lead singer Jimmy Ellis died at a nursing home in Rock Hill, South Carolina, at the age of 74. The cause of death was not immediately known but he suffered from Alzheimers' disease.
|Year||Title||Label||US Billboard 200||US R&B|
|1975||The Legendary Zing Album||Buddah Records||—||—|
|1975||Trammps||Golden Fleece Records||159||30|
|1976||Where the Happy People Go||Atlantic Records||50||13|
|1976||Disco Inferno||Atlantic Records||46||16|
|1977||The Trammps III||Atlantic Records||85||27|
|1979||The Whole World's Dancing||Atlantic Records||184||—|
|1980||Mixin' It Up||Atlantic Records||—||—|
|1980||Slipping Out||Atlantic Records||—||—|
|Year||Title||Label||US Billboard 200||US R&B|
|1978||The Best of the Trammps||Atlantic Records||139||57|
|Year||Title||US Billboard Hot 100||US R&B||UK Singles Chart|
|1972||"Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart"||64||17||29|
|1972||"Sixty Minute Man"||—||—||40|
|1973||"Pray All You Sinners"||—||34||—|
|1974||"Where Do We Go From Here"||—||44||—|
|1975||"Hooked for Life"||—||70||—|
|1976||"Hold Back The Night"||35||10||5|
|1976||"That's Where the Happy People Go"||27||12||35|
|1976||"Soul Searchin' Time"||—||67||42|
|1977||""I Feel Like I've Been Livin' (On The Dark Side Of The Moon)"||—||52||—|
|1977||"The Night The Lights Went Out"||—||80||—|
|1978||"Disco Inferno" (re-release)||11||—||47|
|1978||"Seasons for Girls"||—||50||—|
|1983||"Up On The Hill"||—||79||—|
|1992||"Hold Back The Night" - (KWS features guest vocals from the Trammps)||—||—||30|
- Ronnie Baker - (Bass, Vocals), 1947–1990
- Jimmy Ellis (lead vocals), 1937–2012.
- Barrington McDonald (Guitar) 1942 - 2007
- Gene Faith a.k.a. Gene Jones (original lead vocalist)
- Dennis Harris (Guitar)
- Norman Harris - (Guitar, vocals), 1947–1987
- John Hart (Organ), 1941–2008 
- Steve Kelly (vocals)
- Ron Kersey b. Tyrone G. Kersey - (Keyboards), 1945–2005
- Michael Thomas (drums)
- Robert Upchurch (vocals)
- Harold Doc Wade (Guitar, Vocals)
- Stanley Wade (Bass, Vocals)
- Earl Young - (Drums, Vocals), b. 1940
- Ed Cermanski (Keyboards)
- Jerry Collins - (Vocal)
- Jimmy Williams - (Lead vocal) 
Stan Wade & Robert Upchurch Trammps
- Dave Dixon - (Vocals)
- Mike Natalini - (Drums)
- Rusty Stone - (Bass)
- Harold Watkins - (Brass)
- Ruben Henderson - (Brass)
- Fred Vesci - (Keyboard) 
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US Dance chart
- Ron Kersey, a one-time band member and songwriter
- "Hate It or Love It", a single by The Game sampling "Rubber Band"
- "Biography by Ron Wynn". Allmusic.com. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Dys, Andrew (March 8, 2012). "'Disco Inferno' singer Jimmy Ellis of Rock Hill dies at 74". The Herald (Rock Hill, SC). Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- Allmusic.com / Grammy Awards
- "Charts & Awards / Billboard Singles". Allmusic.com. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 564. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 417. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Biography at Soultracks.com - accessed February 2011
- Allmusic.com / Billboard Albums
- "Jimmy Ellis Dies at 74; Lead Singer in Dance Band Trammps". www.nytimes.com. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- article.wn.com John Hart Jr., 67, an original Trammp
- Lyrics Vault Trammps
- thetrammps.net Band Members
- Official website
- Trammps Biography
- The Trammps Live in Europe
- Trammps page on Soulwalking website
- Soulful Kinda Music, Trammps Discography