Since 1966, Gadsden band The Tyn Tymes has been releasing music with an R&B/soul feel that specifically relates to the “beach music” genre.
The 10-member “party band” currently consists of Jerry Rickles, Ronnie Cornutt, Benny Leverton, Lowell Shirey, Charlie Freeman, Lanny and Danny Thomas, Ken Striplin, Curtis Burttram, Brian Bankston and Carl Sharpe. It recently signed a new record deal with Bentley Records.
The contract will allow the band to release new music in the form of singles by sending the company their songs for them to distribute to their network of radio stations and the Internet.
“We just accepted this offer and agreement, and we don’t know how many of those we are going to do,” Thomas said. “But we will begin by releasing one and going from there.”
The Tyn Tymes came to be after some members of the horn section from Gadsden High School joined forces with members of the rhythm section from Emma Sansom High School while in college at Auburn, Alabama and Jacksonville State. Until their break in 1971, the band performed at many college and special events across the area. The band reunited in 2000 and has been together ever since.
“Back then, we were just a cover band and we didn’t have any original songs, but now we do,” said Lanny Thomas, the band’s drummer, “There’s five of the original 10 members still playing with the band.”
Thomas reflected on the band’s success, saying some of their biggest accomplishments include being on “the same show” with many “major acts” such as Eddie Money, Percy Sledge, Swingin’ Medallions, Bo Diddley, Gary Puckett, The Tams, Embers and others.
“It’s a long list there,” he said, “We’ve also played on a riverboat, The Memphis Queen, and we played Archie Manning’s 60th birthday party at Eli Manning’s house in Oxford, Mississippi.”
Beach music is a music style that was made popular in the Carolinas, but also has an international market. It is described as a music style that “combines many styles that may include but are not limited to rhythm and blues, soul music, and a little bit of disco,” according to the website beachmusiconline.com.
“It has a lot of R&B classic songs that are in it,” Thomas explained. “It’s music that when you go to the beach and hear it, you remember it and it becomes one of your favorite songs. It includes a lot of classic Motown and Atlantic Records songs.”
The Tyn Tymes’ first release for Bentley will be “Angel of Love,” on Oct. 20. This song is their most recent to top the Surfside Music Top 20, and also was named Number 1 on ReverbNation’s charts for local, regional, national and global areas.
“It’s something I wrote the lyrics to several years ago and Mark Phillips helped me develop the music for it,” Thomas said. “It’s about meeting someone and you just have that eye contact and that feeling and knowing that ‘this is her, and I’m not looking anymore.’”
Thomas described ReverbNation as “the largest artist social media page, they help promote bands and help them get started and get their name out there. It [“Angel of Love”] started out at the bottom of the chart and people kept requesting it, so it worked all the way to the top.”
Before signing the record deal, the Tyn Tymes released a new CD, “Sand and Soul,” which Thomas said is a compilation of all of the band’s original songs, plus a few of their most requested covers, on one album.
“Up until now, most of our originals have been on compilation CDs, which is where a lot of bands will put a song on there,” he said. “This CD will have all of our originals all on one CD for the first time.”
Thomas said the band also has a lot of things coming up for the future, including a fundraising performance in Orange Beach on Dec. 3 and their annual August concert, which has drawn a sellout crowd every year they have had it.
“COVID is holding us back a little bit, still,” he said. “Some people are still afraid to have big events because they don’t know if enough people will show up. In between those dates, we’re working on some other things that I can’t go into until we actually get them signed.”
Moving forward, Thomas’s hopes for the band is that it continues to thrive and work as “an institution.”
“We have band members who have retired and three have sadly passed away,” he said, “So we replace them with some younger talent and we try to find an individual that’s the very top professional person that we can find for that spot. So, the band just keeps getting better.”