City unveils marker for unsung local music group

On Sunday, May 26, the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission unveiled a marker honoring Lowman Pauling and The “5” Royales.

City unveils marker for unsung local music group
May 30
00:25 2019

On Sunday, May 26, the Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission unveiled a marker honoring Lowman Pauling and The “5” Royales. The marker was placed at Pauling’s former residence of 1135 N. Rich Avenue.

The city’s historic marker program began in 2001 and to date there have been over 50 markers placed throughout Forsyth County. The program was started by former City Council Member Jocelyn V. Johnson.

“Historic markers help residents remember and learn about important places, events and people in the community’s collective history,” said Alanna Meltzer-Holderfield.  

The Royales were Winston-Salem natives who were initially formed as a gospel quintet. Pauling, along with Eugene Tanner, Obadiah Carter, Jimmy Moore, Otto Jeffries and Jeffries’ successor Eugene Tanner, found success and influence when they adapted their spiritual harmonies to Rhythm and Blues.

With songs written by Pauling, including the hits “Help Me Somebody” and “Dedicated to the One I Love,” the group climbed the R&B charts during the 1950s. Their unique style and Pauling’s innovative guitar techniques were groundbreaking, influencing the likes of James Brown, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. In 2015, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

On a hot Sunday afternoon, the residence at N. Rich Avenue was filled with family, friends and honored guests such as Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke, City Council Member Annette Scippio, former N.C. Rep. Larry Womble and Lowman Pauling’s son, Darryl Pauling.

This is a special day, but this is a sad day because this is long overdue,” said Scippio. “It’s really late and those “5” Royales aren’t here to experience our recognition, so I want to encourage all of us to really tell our stories.”

City Council Member D.D. Adams spoke about how Bobby Wilson came to her about honoring the Royales. She said he was very instrumental in making this marker happen and we need to continue to honor the legends of our city so we never forget the impact they had.

“Let’s go keep finding our history and recognizing it and making a place for it, so we and our children can come and folks can see what we have done in Winston-Salem,” said Adams.

Womble said, “We can’t tell our stories, because we don’t know our stories.”  He emphasized the importance of remembering those who came before us and paved the way. “We need to do more of this, so our black boys and girls will know that we have done something in this city, besides act a fool,” he said.

Pauling’s son, Darryl, spoke last and gave some heartfelt memories of his father and what the marker meant to him and his family.

“This was a long time coming. When my mother was in the hospital, she told me, ‘What ever you do, make sure you keep your father and the group’s name out there’,” said Pauling. “Everyone that knows my mother knows, when she tells you to do something, you better do it, so when she passed, I didn’t want to look up one day and see her say I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do.

“I want to thank the City of Winston-Salem for this and I want to thank you all for coming out.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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