The "5" Royales were an American band that combined gospel, jump blues and doo wop, forming an early and influential step in the evolution of soul music. Most of their big hits were recorded from 1952 to 1953 and written by guitarist Lowman Pauling; some of these songs were later big hits as cover versions, including Dedicated to the One I Love (The Shirelles, The Mamas & the Papas), Tell the Truth (Ray Charles) and Think (James Brown).
Originally the Royal Sons Quintet, the group began recording for Apollo Records in the early 1950s. A six-man group, they soon changed their name to The "5" Royales, with the quotes meant to clear up confusion. Baby Don't Do It and Help Me Somebody became hits in 1953, but the group soon signed to King Records. With King, Think and Tears of Joy became hits in 1957, while some of their lesser known tracks from this period are now critically-acclaimed and considered innovative for their time. In the 1960s, their career slowed down considerably, and they broke up in 1965.
Most of their big RandB hits were recorded from 1952 to 1953 and written by guitarist Lowman "Pete" Pauling; later cover versions of the band's songs hit the Top 40, including "Dedicated to the One I Love" (The Shirelles, the Mamas and the Papas), "Tell the Truth" (Ray Charles), and "Think" (James Brown).
Originally the Royal Sons Quintet, the group began recording for Apollo Records in the early 1950s, changing its name to the Royals after abandoning gospel for secular music.
The "5" Royales broke up in 1965, though various combinations of musicians would tour under the group's name into the 1970s.
First it was alleged that the Royales were making appearances billing themselves as the "5" Royales then, as the popularity of the Royales started to gain momentum, it was the "5" Royales were on the defensive.
Everything was smoothed over by mid-1954 when the Royales changed their name to the Midnighters, but in August problems between the "5" Royales and Apollo Records found Lowman Pauling in court suing for back royalties.
In 1960, the "5" Royales were involved in another lawsuit with fellow King artist James Brown concerning the song "Think." The lawsuit forced them to leave King, and for a time they recorded for Home Of the Blues in Memphis, which leased the masters to Vee-Jay and ABC Records.
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