Before the corporate and securities law practice, before the stints as a stockbroker and a Toronto Argonauts running back, before theJuno Award nomination and opening for James Brown, Randy McAuley was a six- or seven-year-old kid in a homemade outfit, belting out the high notes on stage to The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” It was a walk-on appearance, circa 1990, in his brothers’ pop and R&B band, but Randy made an impression. A few years later, his older siblings (Gary, George and Mark) officially welcomed him into The McAuley Boys.
In 1995, the brothers cut their first cassette, after their musically gifted parents plunked down thousands of dollars so their sons could record some Christmas tunes. Handselling the tape at shows, the brothers quickly recouped the money. The following year, they released the Juno-nominated In Another Lifetime, which featured a smooth set of R&B bops written by Gary and a pair of covers that included The Hollies’ “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” performed by the Boys on the Junos telecast in 1997. From there, it was off to sing the national anthem at the MLB All-Star Game, headline shows in the Olympic Village in Sydney and open for the likes of The Temptations, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight. “It turns out we were huge in South Africa, even though we never actually played there,” McAuley says with a laugh.
During his undergrad at Western University, McAuley continued to perform in the band while pursuing a career in football. (He played on the varsity team and, after his fourth year, was invited to the Toronto Argos training camp.) But as the Boys got older and settled down with families of their own, music took a backseat. Eventually, McAuley lost his passion for football and tried his hand at trading stocks. Soon, though, he found his calling in another family business, following his aunt, sister-in-law and two cousins into law; he now practises corporate and securities law as an associate at Goodmans LLP. The brothers never quite quit performing together, and this September, they released a new song for the first time in ages. “We’ll see where we go from there, but it’s not about money or acclaim,” McAuley says. “We really just wanted to do something that’s good for the soul.”