the lure of the canon
#49: tomorrow never dies (roger spottiswoode, 1997)

music friday: the tymes, “so much in love”

I fully expect my brother to tell me I’ve got some of the memories wrong, because memories are always wrong, and one or both of us will have turned what really happened into something else. One certain fact is that my brother, six years older than I, had a lot more records (albums and 45s) than I did, and pretty much without exception, what he liked, I liked (I’m not so sure about Bobby Rydell, though).

My memory is that he had the first album by the R&B/doo-wop group The Tymes. It was called So Much in Love, which was also the name of the first single from the album. “So Much in Love” pushed Jan and Dean’s “Surf City” out of the #1 slot on the singles charts … it lasted one week, and was bumped by Little Stevie Wonder’s first hit. (“So Much in Love” has another family connection: my sister put it on a Spotify playlist she created for me.) The So Much in Love album contained two more hits, “Wonderful! Wonderful!” and “Somewhere”. “Wonderful! Wonderful!” was a remake of the first hit by Johnny Mathis, an enormously popular singer of the time. It’s appropriate that The Tymes covered Mathis, since their lead singer, George Williams, so clearly patterned his vocal style on Mathis.

My memories of this album (I was ten years old when it came out) are pleasant ones. The hits were lovely, and for some reason, I liked the name of the group. Nowadays, I think of The Tymes and their hits as good examples of Beach Music, although I had no idea what Beach Music was back then (I’m not even sure the term existed yet). I also think of them as late doo-wop, but I notice that AMG omits that reference, so maybe I’m wrong (they list the group as Soul, Pop-Soul, Beach, and Early R&B).

Like so many vocal groups from that period, The Tymes turn up on public television occasionally during pledge drives, when PBS shows doo-wop concerts where the old groups, usually without many of the original members, sing their hits. I prefer to remember them from their heyday, though, and since there weren’t a lot of videos back then, audio YouTube clips will have to suffice. “So Much in Love”:

And “Wonderful! Wonderful!”:

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