RELATED: Trammps lead singer Jimmy Ellis died yesterday at the age of 74. The New York Times has the obit.
Mr. Ellis’s melodious voice overlaid the funky guitar riffs and driving bass and drums of the Trammps’s dance music. He sang lead on most of the group’s songs, backed by the bass singer Earl Young, and later harmonized with Robert Upchurch, who joined the band in the mid-1970s. The Trammps were formed in the early ’70s, according to their keyboard player and manager, Edward Cermanski. Mr. Cermanski said the second “m” in the group’s name came from the days when Mr. Ellis and his friends sang on street corners. “The police called them tramps,” he said. “So they said they wanted to be high-class tramps, with two ‘m’s in the name.”