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The Tammys

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The Tammys were an American girl group made up of sisters Gretchen and Cathy Owens and their friend Linda Jones.

The girls first met Lou Christie in 1961 at a concert where he was performing in the band Lugee and The Lions. A year later Lou hit it big with his single “The Gypsy Cried” and he brought the girls in to sing backup for him. He also signed them to a contract with United Artists and they recorded three singles. Despite local airplay, the weepy “Take Back Your Ring”, the sweet “Gypsy” and the absolutely insane “Egyptian Shumba” all failed to chart nationally throughout 1963-1964. With three no-hit singles to their credit, their waxings became impossibly rare and the group became a footnote in music history.

As Northern Soul hit Britain in the early 1970s, and spurred a renewed interest in girl groups, collectors began searching for all sorts of rare records from the 1960s that should have been hits but weren’t. Looking especially for songs with a dance groove, “Egyptian Shumba,” was unearthed and became a cult classic.

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