Lowman Pauling and his brothers Clarence and Curtis backed their father, Lowman Pauling Sr. during concerts as the Royal Sons Gospel Group in their native North Carolina. In the early 1950's, Carolina radio producer Robert Woodward contacted NY-based Apollo Records about the group. Signed by Apollo Records (2), the group's name was changed from the Royal Sons Quintet to the "5" Royales by the label's Carl Le Bowe. Because they were a six-man outfit for a while; the quotes around the 5 in their billing was a recognition of this and was designed to help to alleviate confusion. With the departure of Johnny Holmes and later Clarence Pauling (who would later change his name to Clarence Paul and become a successful Motown producer/songwriter/A&R director and a mentor to Stevie Wonder), the group lineup was guitarist Lowman Pauling, lead singer Johnny Tanner, tenors James 'Jimmy' Moore and Obadiah "Scoop" Carter, and baritone Otto 'Jeff' Jeffries. Their first single was "Give Me One More Chance" b/w "Too Much of a Little Bit." Jeffries became the group's manager and was replaced in the baritone spot by Eugene 'Gene' Tanner.
By then (c.1952), the group had evolveded from consisting of solely gospel music to include doo-wop, jump blues, rhythm and blues, soul, and gospel.
In all, the group released seven Top Ten R&B hits including, "Baby Don't Do It", and "Help Me Somebody", which both landed at #1 in 1953. They left the Apollo Record Label in 1954, and signed with the King Records (3) that same year. Throughout the next few years they released other recordings including "Think", "Tell The Truth", "Tears Of Joy", and "The Slummer The Slum." Throughout the rest of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the group continued to record, but spent most of that time touring. They later left the King Record Label, and after a few other recordings, the group called it quits, and disbanded in 1965.