R. Harlan Smith's father was also an early influence. "When I was a young teen, preparing to leave the nest, he had some words for me I've never forgotten," says Smith. "He said, 'No matter what people tell you, do what your soul tells you. If you have a passion for something, just do it.' He also said, 'Always do something to better the community where you live.'" Despite some early success, Smith decided to heed his dad's other advice to give back, by starting his label. Gary Fjellgaard was one of Royalty Records' first signings. Smith heard the B. C. songwriter--now inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame--while eating in a small-town diner. "I heard this record in the jukebox and my jaw dropped," Smith recalls. "First, at the song; second, at the voice."
McPherson, David (2015) Royalty Records. In: Words and Music, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 35. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/119915/.