Planning News

Historic Resources Commission - May 23, 2019

A local historic marker commemorating Lowman Pauling and The "5" Royales will be unveiled at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 26, at 1135 N. Rich Ave. in Winston-Salem. The address is the home where the group rehearsed.

Initially formed as a Gospel quintet, The "5" Royales --Winston-Salem natives Pauling, Eugene Tanner, Obadiah Cater, Jimmy Moore, Otto Jeffries and Jeffries’ successor Eugene Tanner -- found success and influence when they adapted their spiritual harmonies to R&B. Their ground-breaking vocal arrangements brought them Top-10 R&B hits in the first three years after being signed to Apollo Records in 1951, including two No. 1 records. Songs they wrote and recorded would later be covered by James Brown, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, The Shirelles and the Mamas & the Papas, the last two both having massive hits with "Dedicated (To the One I Love)."

In 2015, The "5" Royales were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in belated recognition of a "15-plus-year career (that) was prodigious in scope and influence…. The '5'Royales were a cornerstone, their minor-key, intense laments a big jumping-off point for James Brown and a cast of countless other artists."

Speakers at the unveiling will include Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke, Council Member Annette Scippio, former N.C. Rep. Larry Womble, and Lowman Pauling’s son, Darryl Pauling.

The "5" Royales - Winston-Salem natives Lowman Pauling, Obadiah Carter, James Moore, Johnny Tanner, Otto Jeffries and Jeffries' successor Eugene Tanner - climbed the R&B charts in the 1950s with songs written by Pauling, including the hits "Help Me Somebody" and "Dedicated to the One I Love." Their unique harmonies and Pauling’s innovative guitar techniques were groundbreaking, influencing James Brown, Steve Cropper and Eric Clapton. In 2015 the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The "5" Royales rehearsed and played with other musicians – including James Brown and Ray Charles – here, in Pauling’s Rich Avenue basement.

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