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5 Royales
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  • Personnel: The "5" Royales (vocals).
  • The "5" Royales, led by the songwriting and distinctive guitar of Lowman Pauling, merged doo wop and jump blues with the fire and energy of gospel in the early to mid-'50s, and while they went mostly unheralded at the time, managing only a few minor hits, in retrospect they were a remarkably important and innovative group poised right at the first coming breath of modern soul and funk. This two-disc, 55-track set collects sides the group recorded, backed by Willie Mitchell's crackerjack Memphis band, for Ruben Cherry's Home of the Blues label between 1960 and 1963, including tapes of four test tracks. Fifty years on, these vintage sides still crackle with energy and fun. ~ Steve Leggett
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