The construction of the Castle Harbour Hotel (completed in 1931) and the related Mid-Ocean Club had resulted in the forced relocation of the inhabitants of Tucker’s Town, with their homes replaced by golf links. The families that had lived there, including the Talbots, were mostly been resettled in Smith’s Parish, near Devil’s Hole and John Smith’s Bay, where Talbot Lane is found today.
The Talbots organized in 1942 and performed a variation of calypso in a smooth melodic style influenced by popular music. They performed and recorded cover versions of calypso classics in addition to many of their own originals. They became a popular attraction in local hotels, but it was an early recording they made in the United States that made them even more popular in their homeland, and heralded fame beyond their shores. Bermuda Buggy Ride brought them wide recognition in the USA, and made them the group tourists most wanted to see.
Their popularity with American tourists resulted in tours of the U.S. starting in the early 1950s. Notable in their instrumentation was Roy Talbot’s home-made upright bass dubbed the “doghouse.” Roy created the instrument out of a large meat-packing crate and a single fishing line. This item was a particular curiosity, and during the Talbots’ tours many of their fellow performers and visiting celebrities would autograph the crate.
The Talbots released 10″ and 12″ vinyl records on the small Audio Fidelity label in the mid-1950s before being signed to ABC Paramount Records in 1957, where they made two LPs that were more accessible in North America.
They were frequent performers on television in the 1950s, appearing on Ed Sullivan’s variety shows and other programs.
Photo: Repeating Islands