The Tymes aka Billy Abbott & The Jewels (4)
The Tymes (Philadelphia , PA)
aka Billy Abbott & The Jewels (4)
(The early Years)
George Williams, Jr (Lead)
George Hilliard (Second Tenor)
Albert Berry (First Tenor)
Norman Burnett (Baritone)
Donald Banks (Bass)
1963 - So In Love / Roscoe James McClai (Parkway 871)
1963 - Wonderful! Wonderful! / Come With Me To The Sea (Parkway 884)
1963 - Somewhere / View From My Window (Parkway 891)
1963 - Isle Of Love / I'm Always Chasing Rainbows (Parkway 7039)
1964 - To Each His Own / Wonderland Of Love (Parkway 908)
1964 - The Magic Of Our Summer Love / With All My Heart (Parkway 919)
1964 - Here She Comes / Malibu (Parkway 924)
1964 - The Twelfth Of Never / Here She Comes (Parkway 933)
(Parkway 871) (Parkway 884) (Parkway 891)
(Parkway 908) (Parkway 919) (Parkway924)
1963 - So Much In Love (Parkway P-7032)
Alone / My Summer Love / Wonderful! Wonderful! / That Old Black Magic / Let's Make Love Tonight / Goodnight My Love / So Much In Love / You Asked Me To Be Yours / The Twelfth Of Never / Way Beyond Today / Summer Day / Autumn Leaves
1963 - Sound of the Wonderful Tymes (Parkway P-7038)
Wonderful Wonderful / Blue Velvet / One Little Kiss / Hello Young Lovers / Come With Me To The Sea / The Way You Look Tonight / Words Written On Water / And That Reminds Me / Chances Are / I Thank You / Address Unknown / Moonlight Cocktails /
1963 - Somewhere (Parkway P-7039)
Somwhere / Stranger In Paradise / Let's Fall In Love Tonight / The Lamp Is Low / There Is Love / Night / Will You Wait For Me / Anymore / Till The End Of Time / Come With Me To The Sea / Why Should I Cry / Sleep Tight My Darling / Isle Of Love / I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Billy Abbott & The Jewels (4)
1963 - Groovy Baby / Come On And Dance With Me (Parkway 871)
1964 - It Isn't Fair / Hey Good Lookin' (Parkway 905)
The story of The Tymes begins in 1955, when Norman Burnett met George Hilliard at a Willow Grove, Pennsylvania summer camp. When they returned home they hooked up with neighbors Albert (Caesar) Berry, III and Donald Banks, and formed a vocal group called The Latineers. For the next four years, the quartet made the rounds of the local circuit, performing at record hops, local talent shows and at nightclubs. In 1960, The Latineers brought in George Williams, Jr., whose Johnny Mathis-infulenced tenor would prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle.
The quintet was now set. The group continued to toil around Philadelphia for the next three years while honing their craft. The quintet’s breakthrough occurred in 1963 when they were contestants in the Tip Top Talent Hunt hosted by Philadelphia radio station WDAS. The Latineers performed “Danny Boy” and drew the attention of Leroy Lovett, one of the contest’s judges. He was impressed enough to have them audition for Billy Jackson, the A&R director of Cameo-Parkway records. Billy wanted to record them. Billy took The Latineers into the studio and produced them.
When the group signed with Cameo-Parkway the first matter to be addressed was the selection of the new moniker instead of going with the seemingly dated “Latineers”. The named was changed to The Tymes. George Williams had written the melody and the first verse to a romantic song he called “The Stroll”. He worked with others to complete the tune, and re-titled it “So Much In Love”. The group went into the studio and recorded “So Much In Love” many different ways.
The final version was released in the spring of 1963. Bernie Lowe, owner of Cameo Parkway, needed a backup group to complement Billy Abbott’s voice. Not wanting to use their name, fearing it would take away from their popularity, he dubbed the Tymes them the Jewels, but it was really the Tymes backing up Billy Abbott (who changed his name from Billy Vaughn to avoid confusion with bandleader Billy Vaughn).
By August, it passed Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” to become the number one pop record in the country. It also reached number four on the R&B charts and number twenty-one in the U.K. . They went on tour after “So Much In Love” was released. The Tymes traveled around the country with Dick Clark’s “Cavalcade of Stars”. For their second single, The Tymes took advantage of the similarity of George Williams’ vocal style to that of Johnny Mathis, and covered his 1957 hit “Wonderful! Wonderful!”. The song was given an arrangement in the same vein as it predecessor, and reached number seven on the pop charts that summer.
Near the end of 1963 The Tymes released “Somewhere”, which reached number 19 on the pop charts. “Somewhere” , like the group’s number one hit, did prominently feature finger snaps and “ooh-wee-ooh” background chirps, and contained very little music. Cameo-Parkway again quickly assembled an album, entitled “Somewhere”. In addition to the title song the LP contained “Come With Me To The Sea”; versions of two much-covered classics, “The Lamp Is Low” and “STRANGER IN PARADISE” and “Anymore”, a Billy Jackson and Roy Straigis composition that was given an exotic arrangement.
All three of The Tymes’ Cameo-Parkway albums charted. In the winter of 1964, the quintet released a cover of The Platters’ “To Each His Own”. Next to follow was “Our Summer Love”, a wonderful, bossa nova-flavored tune. The Tymes eventually left Cameo-Parkway and signed with Columbia records.
So In Love Roscoe James McClai Wonderful! Wonderful!
Come With Me To The Sea Somewhere View From My Window
Isle Of Love I'm Always Chasing Rainbows To Each His Own
Wonderland Of Love The Magic Of Our Summer Love With All My Heart
Here She Comes Malibu The Twelfth Of Never
That Old Black Magic Alone Let's Make Love Tonight
Goodnight My Love The Twelfth Of Never Way Beyond Today
Summer Day Autumn Leaves Till The End Of Time
Billy Abbott & The Jewels (4)
Come On And Dance With Me Groovy Baby
It Isn't Fair / Hey Good Lookin'
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