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Detroit Emeralds, The

The Emeralds vocal harmony group was formed in Little Rock, Arkansas by brothers, Ivory, Abrim, 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 trio had their first R&B chart success on Ric-Tic Records, with Show Time in 1968.

Their next hit, If I Lose Your Love, 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 in the US in 1973 and made the top five in the UK.


By 1974, there were two outfits using the Detroit Emeralds name. Abe Tilmon formed one group while James Mitchell and Ivory Tilmon continued touring with several backing bands and supplementary vocalists.

The Detroit Emeralds’ sixth and final album, Let’s Get Together, released on Westbound in 1978, saw the group say goodbye at the top of their game.

Recorded in Detroit’s Pac-3 Studios and at Ardent in Memphis, it included arresting hard-edged funk, dancefloor disco, and sublime balladry in the shape of their intuitive cover of The Masqueraders’ (Call Me) The Travelling Man.

Abrim Tilmon died of a heart attack on 6 July 1982, at the age of 37.

Ivory Tilmon
Abrim Tilmon
James Mitchell