The Tarriers Biography

Formed in 1954, the Tarriers are remembered for two primary reasons: their 1956 US Top 5 recording of ‘The Banana Boat Song’ and the fact that one of the group members was Alan Arkin (26 March 1934, Brooklyn, New York, USA), who went on to become a highly successful actor. The folk group was put together by Erik Darling (b. 25 September 1933, Baltimore, Maryland, USA), who was influenced by the folk revivalists of the day. After performing briefly with a large troupe of vocalists, Darling hooked up with Arkin and Bob Carey as the Tunetellers. The group changed its name to the Tarriers and wrote and recorded ‘The Banana Boat Song’ to capitalize on the calypso music craze then sweeping the USA. Simultaneously, they recorded a similar song called ‘Cindy, Oh Cindy’ with singer Vince Martin. Both singles were released on Glory Records, ‘Cindy’ reaching number 9 and ‘The Banana Boat Song’ number 4. The Tarriers never again made the charts, however, and the original trio dissolved two years later. Darling joined the Weavers and later went on to form the Rooftop Singers; Arkin began his acting career and Carey kept a Tarriers group in existence until 1964.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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