Take a step back in time to the mid-1960s when a night out at the club held a very different meaning to what it does today when a teen club, a popular local youth hangout spot owned by Longino Little, stood at the intersection of North Jefferson Street and Log Cabin Road.
At the center of the club’s success — or on the stage rather — was the band known as The Royale V made up of Wayne Burgamy, Dennis Carr, Ricky Donnelly, Jerry Glass and Robert Rogers. They and the other bands who played there regularly made the teen club the place to be for kids looking to have a great time free of their parents.
“It was a great safe place for kids to go on weekends to enjoy music and dancing,” said Danny Rogers, younger brother to the now deceased Robert Rogers. “The band played Fridays or Saturdays, and sometimes Fridays and Saturdays. During the summer they would play during the middle of the week on Wednesday.
“So many people that are my age — and younger and older really — have talked about the Teen Club and all the great songs they heard there and how wonderful it was to have a place we could go. Without it there was no place really. It was iconic because there wasn’t anything else around that was done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.”
Robert Rogers passed away unexpectedly three years ago this December, and Danny, wanting to honor his brother’s memory, pondered some ways to do just that before arriving at what he believes is the perfect solution. Today, the property where the teen club was located over 50 years ago is still owned by the Little family. The Log Cabin convenience store, owned by Tommy Lowndes, occupies a good chunk of the land. With permission from both the land and store owners, a sign commemorating The Royale V Teen Club has been constructed adjacent to the store (2119 N. Jefferson St.) and will be unveiled by the surviving band members Saturday at 11 a.m. The sign honors the band, the club, and the former owner, Longino Little.
“My brother would not have wanted it to be just about him,” Danny Rogers said. “He would really like it the way we’ve done it I’m sure. He played music from the time he was about 14 (years old) on and was in a number of bands. He touched an awful lot of lives with his music.”
This weekend’s unveiling was scheduled in conjunction with the Baldwin High School Class of 1969 (of which Danny Rogers is a member) 50th reunion, giving alumni another opportunity to further reminisce about their high school years. Although he wasn’t a member himself, Robert Rogers was no stranger to the BHS Class of ’69. After his band-playing years he became a DJ and went on to play each of the class’ reunions. Danny will handle DJ duties this weekend, but the younger brother believes the older one’s presence will still be felt.
“I’ve got a big photo of Robert I’ll have there with me,” Danny said. “He’s going to be there in spirit.”