The Tymes started back in 1956 when the members were still in high school. In the beginning, two guys, George Hilliard and Norman Burnett met at a summer camp and started singing together. Soon, they added two more to the group, Albert Berry and Donald Banks who were friends and they called themselves The Latineers (although they sang mostly ballads and doo-wop, not Latin music.) After four years playing the club circuit in Philadelphia, they added a fifth member to the group, George Williams, who became the lead singer of the group and changed their name to the Tymes.
One night in April of 1963, they sang in a talent contest for Philadelphia’s radio station WDAS. I’m not sure if they won the contest but someone from Parkway Records heard them sing and signed them to a record contract just on the basis of that one song. Now, they needed a record.
George Williams had written a song he called “The Stroll” but it wasn’t finished. He enlisted the help of a couple Parkway people, Billy Jackson and Roy Straigis to arrange and finish the song and, in the end, they renamed it “So Much in Love.” Everyone said that the Tymes sounded just like Johnny Mathis and so should go far.
“So Much in Love” was a huge hit, peaking, of course, at number one. But, the Tymes tried but could never again reach the top of the charts, although they did chart four more times. Their follow-up to “So Much in Love” was “Wonderful, Wonderful” which was a cover of the Johnny Mathis song. Since everyone said they sounded like Mathis, why not record one of his songs. Mathis had hit number fourteen with the song (it was his first hit,) but the Tymes did better than that, hitting number seven.
The Tymes carried on for years, but never had the success they had in 1963. Today, three of the five members of the original group are gone. Williams died in 2004 at the age of 68, Banks in 2011 at the age of 72 and Hilliard in 2014 at the age of 73. As far as I can determine, Albert Berry and Norman Burnett are still alive.
One note of trivia to mention here is that Timothy B Schmit of the Eagles sang “So Much in Love” on the soundtrack of the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That version peaked at number 59 on the Hot 100.
“So Much in Love” entered the pop chart on June 22, 1963 and spent one week at number one.