Hello, The Royaltones were a rock and roll instrumental band from Dearborn, Michigan. They were on the charts from 1958 through 1964. Members of The Royaltones included, David Sanderson, George Katsakis, brothers, Mike and Greg Popoff and Kenny Anderson. The group was originally formed by George Katsakis in 1957 and was first called the Paragons. They began writing their own instrumentals, one of those was their classic recording of POOR BOY. Studio owner Stuart Gorelic was impressed with the group and brought them into the studio to record, POOR BOY. Gorelic sent the tapes to Jubilee Records, that was owned by Jerry Blaine. He changed the group’s name to The Royaltones, there was already a recording group with the name The Paragons.
On October 20, 1958 The Royaltones made their Billboard Hot 100 chart debut with POOR BOY on Jubilee Records. The single began its climb up the pop chart to #17 and remained on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks. The “B” side of the single was also popular, WAIL received air-play, but did not chart. The Royaltones first hit was one of the biggest instrumental hits of 1958. Their follow-up record was, SEE-SAW/LITTLE BO, two good sides that failed to chart. The Royaltones toured with the top names. Problems with payments to the group led to The Royaltones asking to be released from their contract, which they were.
In 1960 they signed with George Goldner’s, Goldisc Label in New York. They had many single releases for the label. The one that charted was their second record, FLAMINGO EXPRESS. The single climbed the Billboard Hot 100 to #82 and was the groups last Hot 100 hit record. There were other singles, but they failed to chart. The Royaltones backed Del Shannon on many of his hit records between 1962 and 1964, LITTLE TOWN FLIRT, HANDYMAN and KEEP SEARCHIN are a few of them. Towards the end of 1964 The Royaltones disbanded, but they left a legacy of wonderful instrumental music…their classic hit, POOR BOY and their great recording of FLAMINGO EXPRESS are still oldies radio favorites and remain an important part of the great instrumental sounds of the 1950s and early 1960s.
Till the next time—Joe