The Five Royales©2004JCMarion


Right after New Year's Day of 1952, Apollo Records announces the signing of a new gospel quintet from Winston-Salem, North Carolina called The Royal Sons. They record "Let Nothing Seperate Me" and "Come Over Here" on Apollo # 266. The Royal Sons had been in existence since 1948. The group consisted of Lowman Pauling, his brother Clarence, Otto Jeffries, John Tanner, and William Samuels. Lowman Pauling was the guitarist who sang bass, but more importantly, he was the chief writer and arranger for the group. The group now moves into the world of secular music and is now known as The 5 Royales and record "Too Much Of A Little Bit" and "Give Me One More Chance" on # 434, followed by "You Know I Know" and "Courage To Love" for Apollo on # 441 in August of the year. By September "You Know" is a good seller in the Southern cities of Richmond, Charleston, and Atlanta. In October a big "welcome party" for the group is presented at the Club Flamingo in the group's home of Winston-Salem. In November their record shows up on R & B best seller lists in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York. At year's end Apollo releases the newest record by the group "Take All Of Me" and "Baby Don't Do It" recorded with Charlie Ferguson's band on # 443.

In the early days of 1953 "Baby Don't Do It" takes off big in the Midwest especially in the cities of Cincinnati, Chicago, and Cleveland. During that month they make their first appearance at the Apollo Theater in New York. In February a group known as The Royals (later to become The Midnighters) was caught by group manager and head of A & R for Apollo Records Carl Lebow, as impersonating The 5 Royales on a tour of the South. The appropriate legal action followed the misrepresentation. In February the Royales hit the road on tour with Roy Brown. "Baby" is such a big hit that it results in an answer record by Annisteen Allen called "Baby I'm Doing It" for King Records. The group does big box office in Dayton and Columbus Ohio. In April "Help Me Somebody" and "Crazy Crazy Crazy" are released on Apollo # 446. In May different parts of the country react to the two sides. "Crazy" is a big seller in the Midwest cities of Chicago and Detroit, while "Help Me" is big in Atlanta and Mobile. In June both sides make the national R & B sales charts and it is the hottest selling record in the field. In mid-August while on tour of the Southwest, an auto accident kills one member of Charlie Ferguson's band which was accompanying the group. Several other members are injured, though the 5 Royales were not involved. The tour will continue with replacements until the Ferguson crew can return. Late in August "Laundromat Blues" and "Too Much Lovin'"are out on Apollo # 448 and the record is an immediate big seller. The group is now recognized as one of the hottest acts in the Rhythm & Blues music field and a top attraction on the road. In October The 5 Royales are once again involved in legal action. This time Apollo Records has filed suit against King Records over Annisteen Allen's answer record to "Baby Don't Do It". Apollo claims the answer record has a direct and complete copy of the original written by the group's Lowman Pauling. In late October the latest record by the group is released by Apollo - "All Righty" and "I Want To Thank You" on # 449 is immediately named a pick hit of the week in the trade press and starts out selling well in many markets across the country. Late in the year in an unusual move, Carl LeBow the group's manager who had also been A & R man for Apollo, moves over to King Records in Cincinnati. Among other duties he will oversee the reactivation of the company's subsidiary label DeLuxe. Meanwhile he will maintain his managerial duties with the 5 Royales.

In January of 1954, the group appears with Al Benson Chicago radio personality during his broadcast and drew a huge crowd. The latest record of the tunes "I Do" and "Good Things" is out on Apollo # 452 during the month. The record is given the "new record of the week" award from Cashbox. In April The 5 Royales record "Cry Some More" and "I Like It Like That" on # 454. In April the Detroit Royals who just recorded a tune called "Work With Me Annie" on Federal announce they have changed their name to The Midnighters to avoid confusion with The 5 Royales. As The Midnighters, the Detroit group would go on to world wide fame. In May the Royales begin a tour of one nighters through Texas and the Midwest with Tab Smith and his band. Also that month, "Cry Some More" begins to show good sales in a number of areas in the Northeast and the Carolinas. In July, more legal fireworks as King Records claims that they now have The Five Royales under contract which Apollo Records denies. Group manager Carl Lebow who works for King is in the middle of the dispute and he claims that the group is now a King exclusive. In July Apollo releases "Let Me Come Back Home" and "What's That" on # 458, and in August King Records releases "I'm Gonna Run It Down" and "Behave Yourself" on # 4740. Apollo had sought an injunction prohibiting King from releasing any records by the group, but their legal request was denied by the court. The Royales and Tab Smith continue their tour of Western states and join up with The Midnighters and Todd Rhodes and his band for a few dates in the Southwest. In October King Records releases "Monkey Hips And Rice" and "Devil With The Rest" on # 4744.

In January of 1955 Apollo Records puts out one last record by the group - "Six O'Clock In The Morning" and "With All Your Heart" on # 467. That same month The Five Royales record "One Mistake" and "School Girl" for King on # 4762. They follow that up a month later with "You Didn't Learn It At Home" and "Every Dog has Its Day" on # 4770, and in March "Mohawk Squaw" and "How I Wonder" on 4785. That month the group continues on the road with Tab Smith for a number of dates in California. In June "I Need Your Lovin' Baby" and "When I Get Like This" on # 4806 for King. In August "Women About To Drive Me Crazy" and "Do Unto You" is released by King on # 4819. Since Apollo gave up the group to King, they have not reached the sales they had on their former label. In September the legal wrangling continues. Lowman Pauling files suit against Apollo Records for unpaid royalties he claims from the songs he wrote that the Five Royales recorded for Apollo. That month The Five Royales headline the Autumn Ball in Akron, Ohio. Also on the bill are Roy Brown and the Jimmy Coe band. In October "I Ain't Gonna Get Caught" and "Someone Made You For Me" is released on King # 4830.

In January of 1956 The Five Royales are still recording for King records with "Right Around The Corner" and "When You Walked Through The Door" on # 4869. In March the group signs up for a big R & B revue to tour through Texas and the Southwest. Also on the bill are Little Willie John, Camille Howard, Roy Brown, Percy mayfield, Joe Tex, Linda Hopkins, and the Jimmy Coe band. That month King releases "My Wants For Love" and "I Could Love You" on # 4901. In June The Royales appear at The Pla-Mor in Cleveland with the Jimmy Coe band. In July "Come On And Save Me" and "Get Something Out Of It" are issued by King Records on # 4952. In October King releases "Just As I Am" and "Mine Forevermore" on # 4973.

In 1957 The Five Royales are still on the road doing one nighters and issuing King records. In March "Thirty Second Lover" and "Tears Of Joy" are released by King on # 5032. In May "I'd Better make A Move" and "Think" are out on King # 5053. By June "Think" breaks out in Atlanta and Jacksonville and is the first decent seller for the group in three years. By September "Think" is a breakout hit and a pick of the week in trade publications. King Records reports that the record is selling well across the country. The group sets off on a tour of one nighters on the West coast, once again with Tab Smith and his band. In October King releases "Say It" and "Messin' Up" on # 5082. "Don't Be Ashamed" and "Dedicated To The One I Love" are released by King at year's end on # 5098.

By February of 1958, it is apparent that the recording of "Dedicated To The One I Love" is another big seller for The Five Royales. They have come back from the brink of obscurity with their second hit in the last six months for King after three years of misses. "Dedicated" is a top seller in Atlanta, Charleston, and the tidewater area of Virginia (Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News). It is also number one on the R & B charts in King Records home city of Cincinnati. In April the Royales sign on for a touring package show called "The Big Rhythm & Blues Cavalcade of 1958" that will do fifty one nighters throughout the South and Midwest. Also on the bill are Bo Diddley, Etta James, The Midnighters, and many others. In May the group has its follow up to "Dedicated" with "The Feeling Is Real" and "Do The Cha Cha Cherry" on King # 5131. When that record fails to move "Double Or Nothing" and "Tell The Truth" are released on # 5141. In October "The Slummer The Slum" and "Don't Let It Be In Vain" is King's latest by the group on # 5153. The Five Royales close out 1958 with "The Real Thing" and "Your Only Love" on # 5162 for King.

During the early days of 1959, "The Real Thing" looks like it has a chance to be a good seller for the group, but it soon gets lost in the crowd of new releases as the focus of the R & B changes along with the dominant sound of American pop music which is influenced heavily by the daily national television show "American bandstand". In April the Royales release "Miracle Of Love" and "I Know It's Hard But It's Fair" on # 5191. In May King Records releases an LP album called "The Five Royales Sing For You" on # 616. In June "It's Hard" starts to sell in the Baltimore - Washington D.C. area in decent numbers. During the summer King releases "Tell Me You Care" and "Wonder Where Your Love Has Gone" on # 5237. In late October the group closes out the decade with "It Hurts Inside" and My Sugar Sugar" on # 5266.

By the nineteen sixties the group sees their hit making possibilities on the slim side as the music is going through a number of changes. They had a few hits in the late fifties, but they keep on trying to score again with the public through their recordings for King Records. "Don't Give No More Than You Can Take" / "I'm With You" on # 5329, "Why" / "Within My Heart" on # 5357, a reissue of "Dedicated To The One I Love" / "Miracle Of Love" on # 5453 in January of 1961 actually makes the upper reaches of the national pop charts, another reissue of "Dedicated" two years later trying to cash in on The Shirelles version, and finally in 1964 "I Need Your Loving Baby" / "Wonder Where Your Love Has Gone" another reissue. In the early sixties the Five Royales also had recordings for ABC Paramount, Smash, Vee-Jay, Todd, and Home of the Blues labels, all without success. The group called it quits in 1965, and Clarence Pauling took his music skills to Motown where he developed talent and produced sessions for the Detroit hit factory. Lowman Pauling who remained the heart and soul of the Five Royales for their fourteen years of existence passed away in 1974.

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