Abrim worked for the US. Postal Service as a mail distribution
machine operator for five years before beginning a career as a songwriter and starting the Detroit Emeralds in 1968.
Abrim & Ivory wanted their brother Cleofas to
be the third vocalist in the Detroit Emeralds, but Cle preferred to continue singing gospel, so Abe and Ivory asked their
childhood friend James Mitchell who sang with the Five Rockets and Newtones, to join them.
The Detroit Emeralds' first hit came in
1968 when Show Time reached the US R&B Top 30.
Their first recording contract was signed with
Ric Tic Records in 1968, and they were released when Ric Tic went out of business later that year.
Abrim Tilmon, Ivory Tilmon, and James Mitchell formed the partnership to sing and record as the
Detroit Emeralds on January 1, 1968.
1980 until his death in 1982, Abrim had gone back to his gospel roots and was writing and performing in churches with Gospel
Unlimited and the Price Singers.
and Ivory, along with their brothers Raymond and Cleofas, uncle Anderson Jr., and Cle's brother-in-law Sam Smith, sang gospel
as the Tilmon Brothers for 16 years.
and Abrim Sr. had 9 children: Raymond, Ivory, Cleofas, Abrim, Eugene, Kenneth, Darlene, Lonnie, and Lester.
Abrim began singing
when he was 2 years old. He was so small when they sang on the radio, that the station had to put him on a chair because the
microphone could not be lowered far enough to reach Abrim.