1974 The Tymes – You Little Trustmaker
Donald Banks, Albert Berry, Norman Burnett, and George Hilliard formed the vocal group the Latineers in 1956. After four years of singing in small clubs, they recruited George Williams as their new lead singer. The group also changed their name, becoming The Tymes.
After the group did well in a Philadelphia talent show, Cameo-Parkway Records signed them to a recording contract in 1963. The group’s first single appeared to everybody else to make them an overnight success when So In Love topped the Hot 100 in 1963. For their second single, they chose a song that covered the Jonny Mathis hit Wonderful, Wonderful and made it into the top ten.
The group’s third single was a disappointment. Somewhere only reached #19 on the Hot 100, and that was the last time the group reached the top forty until another single peaked at #39 in 1968.
The group recorded on at least three other labels in the sixties, after which George Hilliard left the group. In 1973, their producer paid to record some demos at the studio used by Philadelphia International in hopes of getting them a new contract, but the label wasn’t interested.
Fortunately, the demos were sufficient to get the group a new contract with RCA. The group found their way back onto the charts with their recording of You Little Trustmaker. The single reached #12 on the Hot 100 in 1974.
The group’s next single was Ms. Grace, which barely registered in the US, only reaching #94 on the Hot 100, but continues to be popular in the Carolina Beach Scene. The group was able to tour in the UK when the record magically topped the UK chart for one week in 1975.
In 1976, the group released It’s Cool. The single only reached #68 on the Hot 100, but peaked at #3 on the R&B chart. After that, two female singers replaced two of the original members of the group. The Tymes released a few non-charting singles before their recordings came to an end.
Various collections of the members continued to appear on oldies shows. The five original members appeared together a few times, including on a PBS special shortly before George Williams died in 2004.
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