Proclamation dedicated to the ones they love

Proclamation dedicated to the ones they love
March 26
00:00 2015
(Above: Photo By Todd Luck Mayor Allen Joines poses with family members of the “5” Royales, organizers and attendees.)

With a dozen family members of the “5” Royales at the Hanesbrand Theatre, Mayor Allen Joines dedicated Thursday, March 19, as a day to honor the legendary band that will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.

“What a great day it is to be mayor of a city that can claim the ‘5’ Royals as part of our heritage here in Winston-Salem,” said Joines before reading the proclamation at the Thursday event, emceed by WXII morning traffic reporter Busta Brown.

The “5”  Royales, started in the 1940s as the Royal Sons Quintet, a popular local gospel group.

They changed the group’s name to the “5” Royales when they decided to switch to secular music. Their mix of gospel and blues would produce seven top 10 R&B hits in the 1950s and become a tremendous influence on other artists. They were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and have a local street, 5 Royales Drive, named after them.

Both historical nonprofit Vintage ’04 and Friends of the Malloy/Jordan East Winston Heritage Center pushed for the proclamation. Bobby Ray Wilson, Vintage ‘04 founder and president, called the “5” Royales “unsung singing sensations.” Despite their R&B success, they never found the mainstream stardom of the artists they influenced, such as James Brown and Steve Cropper,  who will be inducting the group into the Hall of Fame in Cleveland on April 18.

The group’s songs would go on to become hits for other artists as well.  One of Brown’s earliest R&B hits was a cover of the Royale’s Top 10 hit, “Think.” Ray Charles and Eric Clapton both did covers of the Royale’s “Tell the Truth.”

Another of the group’s hits include “Dedicated to the One I Love,” a tune that later became a hit for the Shirelles and later the Mamas & the Papas.

Members of the band to be inducted are Obadiah Carter, Jimmy Moore, Eugene and John Tanner and Lowman Pauling, who played guitar and wrote most of the group’s songs. Pauling’s son Darryl said the recognition for the group was a “long time coming.”

Though there are no living members left of the group, which disbanded in 1965,  there are numerous  relatives of the group who still reside locally. Many will travel to Cleveland as guests of the Hall of Fame for next month’s induction ceremony and spoke during last week’s event. They recalled hearing firsthand accounts of the Royales’ tours and the excitement when they heard their songs for the first time on local AM radio station WAAA.

Darryl Pauling said some had special meaning, like the 1950 hit, “Dedicated to the One I love.”

“My father wrote that for my mother,” he said.

He said before his mother passed, she asked him to keep the legacy of the “5” Royales alive.

He didn’t know how to do that and prayed on it.  He said the Hall of Fame induction and proclamation were God’s answer.

“He does things in His time and His time is now,” said Pauling.

Fred Tanner, whose brothers were vocalists John and Eugene Tanner, said the honors for the group are well deserved.

“We are so proud of the accomplishments of the ‘5’ Royales,” he said. “It’s awesome that they’ve been chosen for induction. They not only influenced the performers that followed them, they influenced the top performers, history making performances following them and we’re truly proud of that. Really it was history making then, but we just didn’t realize it, it led to changes in the direction in rock and roll. It led to the sub-style that they brought, which was a mix of gospel and blues. Before then performers didn’t do that.”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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