The Time Tunnel

Remembering Bob Raymond

"Ron and the Royals" was formed in the late 50's as a trio of friends from Hallstead, PA.  Ron Sherwood was lead singer and lead guitar along with Bob Raymond playing rhythm guitar and backup vocals.  Gordy Williams completed the group on drums.  I joined the group in the spring of 1960 but since I was under age, could only play the non-alcohol jobs.  A significant exception that I recall was a fraternity party at Cornell college where most of the attendees were under age anyway.  Chuck "Buff" Buffington replaced Gordy on drums sometime that year and we played a few other jobs in the Binghamton, NY area including a record hop at the EJ Rec Center in Johnson City.  We finally drifted apart as Ron and Buff went into the Army, Bob went into the plumbing business with his father and I joined the Navy.

About 1968  the band re-formed as the "Time Tunnel", a name taken from a popular TV show which was meant to indicate that our music could take you back in time. Specifically to the fifties. This time Bob played bass and I took over as lead guitar. We started at Red's Bar and Grill in Great Bend, Pa. (later called The Country Lounge) and for the next 10 years found ourselves gainfully employed nearly every weekend. Although no one  remembers the exact dates, the following table shows the establishments where we were invited back to play more than once.
1968 - 1970 The Eustican (Red's) Great Bend, PA
1971 - 1974 The Wagon Wheel Binghamton, NY
1973 - 1974 The Brackney Inn Brackney, PA
1974 - 1975 The County Seat Montrose, PA
1975 - 1977 The Stockade Binghamton, NY
1975 - 1976 The Friendsville Inn Friendsville, PA
1976 - 1977 The Country Lounge (Red's) Great Bend, PA
1976 - 1977 The Park View Hotel New Milford, PA

The Recording Session

Many people recorded the band over the years, we even occasionally recorded our own rehearsal sessions to check out sound, balance, etc.  These recordings ranged from sophisticated reel to reel machines down to shoe box recorders that picked up more drinking than music.  We got the idea of doing something serious after Bob retired from the band in the summer of 1977.  So we hired a professional studio to come into the Stockade on a hot, August Sunday morning and Bob returned to complete the recordings.  The band played live for the last time in the fall of 1977.

The Photo Shoot

All of the band's promotional pictures were taken December 22, 1974. My interest in railroads prompted a call to the president of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  He became so interested in the concept of the Time Tunnel being photographed in front of HIS famous tunnel that he supplied a photographer, free of charge for the session. It was Sunday morning and only about 20 degrees. The plans were for a one hour session but it ended up taking three. After getting the equipment set up on the tracks, a call to the dispatcher warned us that a slow freight was climbing the hill to the tunnel and we'd have to wait until he cleared. Six engines, a hundred fourteen cars and a caboose clattered by at 5 miles per hour, delaying the shoot another 20 freezing minutes. Click on the image below to see the entire photo session.

Railfan Magazine - Spring 1975

The Drummer Discrepancy

Those of you who know the band will wonder about the drummer discrepancy.  Although Ron, Bob and I stayed with the group from beginning to end, several drummers joined us throughout the years.  Gordy Williams was the first drummer, then Buff took over until the early seventies.  Eddie Travis joined the band in 1974 and was present for the only formal pictures ever taken of the group.  There was a short term drummer after Eddie, then Gary Evans finished the last two years which was when the recording session was completed.  So the discrepancy is that Eddie is in the cover photo of the album but Gary actually performed and co-produced the recording.