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The "5" Royales



The "5" Royales were a relatively unheralded, but significant, link between early R&B and early soul in their combination of doo wop, jump blues, and gospel styles. Their commercial success was relatively modest -- they had seven Top Ten R&B hits in the 1950s, most recorded in the span of little over a year between late 1952 and late 1953. A few of their singles would prove extremely popular in cover versions by other artists, though -- James Brown and Aretha Franklin tore it up with "Think," Ray Charles covered "Tell the Truth," and the Shirelles (and later the Mamas & the Papas) had pop success with "Dedicated to the One I Love." Almost all of their material was written by guitarist Lowman Pauling, who influenced Steve Cropper with his biting and bluesy guitar lines, which at their most ferocious almost sound like a precursor to blues-rock. Pauling's guitar is pretty muted on their early sides, though, which sometimes walk the line between gospel and R&B. The gospel elements aren't surprising, given that the Royales were originally known as the Royal Sons Quintet when they formed in Winston-Salem, N.C. In fact, they were still known as the Royal Sons Quintet when they began recording for Apollo in the early '50s, although they had six members. They would change their name to the "5" Royales in 1952, although they would, confusingly, remain a six-man outfit for a while; the quotes around the 5 in their billing were designed to alleviate some of the confusion. The Apollo singles "Baby Don't Do It" and "Help Me Somebody" made number one on the R&B charts in 1953, and they had a few other hits for Apollo before being lured away to King Records in 1954. Although the group would remain on King for the rest of the 1950s, they would only enter the R&B Top Ten two more times, with "Think" and "Tears of Joy" (both in 1957). Their later sides, however, are their best, as Pauling became much more assertive on the guitar, dashing off some piercing and fluid solos. Some of these solos are among the heaviest and wildest in '50s rock, on both relatively well-known cuts like "Think," and virtually unknown numbers like "The Slummer the Slum." Greil Marcus once wrote something to the effect that a young Eric Clapton would have once paid to hold Pauling's coat. They remained primarily a harmony vocal group, though, and if their late-'50s sides are considerably more modernized than their early Apollo hits, they're still a lot closer to doo wop than soul. Even when their records weren't selling, the "5" Royales were a popular touring band. Their constant activity at King Records, in all likelihood, had some influence on the young James Brown, then starting his career on the same label; one of Brown's first big R&B hits was a frenetic cover of "Think." They couldn't sustain themselves without more hits, though. After leaving King and recording some more sides in the early '60s, they finally broke up by 1965. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   Think
  3.   The Slummer the Slum
  4.   I Know It's Hard But It's Fair
  5.   I'd Better Make a Move
  6.   Come on Let's Have a Good Time
  7.   Raindrops Keep A-Fallin'
  8.   Just as I Am
  9.   Put Something in It (With All Your Heart)
  10.   Come Over Here
  11.   They Don't Know
  12.   Messin' Up
  13.   All Righty!
  14.   Courage to Love
  15.   Royal J. Abbit Interview
  16.   Do the Cha Cha Cherry
  17.   She Did Me Wrong
  18.   How I Wonder
  19.   It Hurts Inside
  20.   I'm Gonna Run It Down
  21.   There's Somebody Over There
  22.   Too Much of a Little Bit
  23.   Your Only Love
  24.   The Feeling Is Real
  25.   I Got to Know
  26.   Time for Everything
  27.   Amen
  28.   Mr. Moon Man, Pts. 1-2
  29.   (I'm) Gonna Spend My Money
  30.   Baby Don't Do It by Charlie Ferguson His Tenor and Orchestra
  31.   Soul House
  32.   Show Me
  33.   Journey's End
  34.   Jail Bird
  35.   Right Around the Corner
  36.   Cool Teenager
  37.   I Heard the Voice of Jesus
  38.   It Won't Be Long
  39.   Wash Board
  40.   Feel So Good
  41.   Baby Don't You Leave Poor Me
  42.   Dedicated to the One I Love
  43.   Trying to Hold My Gal
  44.   Can't Find My Sadie
  45.   I Want You to Use Me
  46.   Too Much of a Little Bit
  47.   Bedside of a Neighbor by Royal Sons Quintet
  48.   Obadiah Carter Speaks
  49.   Stompenin' Stomp
  50.   Have No Teardrops
  51.   (I'm Gonna) Spend My Money
  52.   I'm Not Ashamed
  53.   He Who Laughs Last
  54.   Pumpkin Pie
  55.   I Want to Thank You by Charlie Ferguson & His Orchestra
  56.   Too Much Lovin' (Much Too Much)
  57.   Crazy, Crazy, Crazy
  58.   Help Me Somebody
  59.   Bedside of a Neighbor
  60.   Never Turn Your Back
  61.   Mr. Moon Man
  62.   I'm Not Ashamed
  63.   I'm on the Right Road Now
  64.   I'm Standing in the Shadows
  65.   Faith
  66.   Solid Rock
  67.   Everybody Knows
  68.   Here It 'Tis, Right Here
  69.   Send Me Somebody
  70.   Why
  71.   I Could Love You
  72.   Every Dog Has His Day
  73.   Mine Forevermore
  74.   Talk About My Woman
  75.   Take Me With You Baby
  76.   Not Going to Cry
  77.   Catch That Teardrop
  78.   I Want It Like That
  79.   I Can't Stand Losing You
  80.   Don't Give No More Than You Can Take
  81.   Don't Be Ashamed
  82.   Much in Need
  83.   Come Over Here
  84.   So God Can Use Me
  85.   See, Hear and Know Nothing
  86.   I Do
  87.   Let Me Come Back Home
  88.   I Wanna Rest
  89.   Crazy, Crazy, Crazy
  90.   Help Me Somebody
  91.   I Like It Like That
  92.   I Am Thinking
  93.   Baby Take All of Me
  94.   Baby Don't Do It
  95.   Women About to Make Me Go Crazy
  96.   Wonder Where Your Love Has Gone
  97.   Tell Me You Care
  98.   When You Walked Through the Door
  99.   My Sugar Sugar
  100.   Miracle of Love
  101.   Monkey Hips and Rice
  102.   My Wants for Love
  103.   Double or Nothing
  104.   The Real Thing
  105.   I'm With You
  106.   Don't Let It Be in Vain
  107.   Get Something Out of It
  108.   Come on and Save Me
  109.   Devil With the Rest
  110.   Mr. Moon Man, Pts. 1-2
  111.   Come On and Put Me in the Alley
  112.   Mama's Daughter
  113.   I Ain't Getting Caught
  114.   Didn't We Fool Them
  115.   Good Things
  116.   Talk About My Woman, Pt. 1
  117.   So Much Lovin'
  118.   Hard Times
  119.   Laundromat Blues
  120.   Now Baby Don't Do It
  121.   Jumpin Jack
  122.   Do Unto You
  123.   What's That
  124.   Courage to Love
  125.   One Mistake
  126.   Tell the Truth
  127.   Come on Let's Have a Good Time
  128.   Talk About My Woman, Pt. 2
  129.   Don't Give More Than You Can Take
  130.   Take All of Me
  131.   I'm Gonna Tell Them
  132.   Goof Ball
  133.   Please, Please Be Mine
  134.   Laundromat Blues by Charlie Ferguson & His Orchestra
  135.   Say It
  136.   I Do
  137.   Mine Forever
  138.   Roll with the Punch
  139.   Good Things
  140.   You Know I Know
  141.   Time for Everything
  142.   Jail Bird
  143.   Mohawk Squaw
  144.   I Don't Want You to Go
  145.   I'm Gonna Love You 'Til I Die
  146.   I Got It Bad
  147.   Tears of Joy
  148.   It Hurts Inside
  149.   Give Me One More Chance
  150.   When I Get Like This
  151.   Someone Made You for Me
  152.   I'm a Cool Teenager
  153.   School Girl
  154.   Didn't We Fool Them
  155.   I Need Your Lovin' Baby
  156.   Get Your Enjoys
  157.   Let Nothing Seperate Me
  158.   I Like It Like That
  159.   I'm Alone
  160.   Too Much Lovin'
  161.   Take All of Me
  162.   Six O'Clock in the Morning
  163.   Every Beat of My Heart
  164.   Please, Please, Please
  165.   You Didn't Learn It at Home
  166.   With All Your Heart
  167.   Washboard
  168.   Good Looking Woman
  169.   The Summer the Slum aka Stopernin' Stop
  170.   What's in the Heart
  171.   Journey's End by Royal Sons Quintet
  172.   Too Much Lovin'
  173.   Just Can't Do Me This Way
  174.   Thirty Second Lover
  175.   Cry Some More
  176.   (Something Moves Me) Within My Heart
  177.   I Want to Thank You
  178.   Bean Head
  179.   Rain Drops Keep a Fallin'
  180.   So God Can Use Me by Royal Sons Quintet
  181.   Send Me Somebody
  182.   Good Lookin' Woman Chatter
  183.   Help Yourself
  184.   6 O'clock in the Morning
  185.   I Wanna Rest by Royal Sons Quintet
  186.   Behave Yourself
  187.   Please, Please, Be Mine
  188.   Doin' Everything
  189.   Here It 'Tis Right Here
  190.   John Tanner & James Moore Speak (1991)
  191.   If You Don't Need Me
  192.   Let Nothing Separate Me
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