Search - Hank Ballard & Midnighters :: Best of

Best of
Hank Ballard & Midnighters
Best of
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

Usually confined to the footnotes as the writer and originator of "The Twist," Ballard was in fact a key proto-rock & roller. His early-'50s hits like "Sexy Ways" and "Work with Me Annie" were not only so transparentl...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Hank Ballard & Midnighters
Title: Best of
Members Wishing: 10
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rhino / Wea
Original Release Date: 11/16/1993
Release Date: 11/16/1993
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Oldies, By Decade, 1950s, Classic R&B, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 081227151225

Usually confined to the footnotes as the writer and originator of "The Twist," Ballard was in fact a key proto-rock & roller. His early-'50s hits like "Sexy Ways" and "Work with Me Annie" were not only so transparently libidinous that they made double-entendre into single- entendre, but were the very pinnacle of guitar-driven R&B. After several fallow years, Ballard returned in 1959 with "The Twist" followed by a string of wonderfully engaging R&B romps like "Finger Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go," and near-soul ballads like "Teardrops on Your Letter." He really only had one groove, but it was a very, very good one. --Colin Escott

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CD Reviews

Pure tenor lead, minor chord harmony & nasty guitar!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I smile everytime I remember trying to muffle the radio under my pillow as a teenager in Houston back in the mid-50's. If my folks heard those lyrics, they would take the radio away forever! Then the media did an absurd thing: they banned 3 of the best songs, "Work With Me Annie", "Sexy Ways" and "Annie Had A Baby". Of all the nerve! One night several of my friends & I went to see The Midnighters play at Houston's El Dorado Ballroom. We were white guys during this most segregated of times, and the El Dorado Ballroom was for Black's. But they let us in anyway. The guitar player for The Midnighters was my idol: Cal Green. He started wailing on about a 10 minute solo and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Man, he was good. In Houston there were 2 excellent radio stations that played R&B: KYOK (DJ's - Dizzy Lizzy, Hotsy Totsy) and KCOH (DJ's - King Bee, Lonnie Rochan). What a time. What music. Sid Leake"
One of Rock 'n' Roll's Unsung Pioneers
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 05/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If your serious at all about popular music, you owe it to yourself to seek out the influences of your favorite artists. Growing up during the Sixties, I enjoyed listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and James Brown, to name a few. Eventually I worked my way back to discover Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and in the case of James Brown, I found Hank Ballard and The Midnighters.Known primarily as the writer of "The Twist" (his version did reach No. 28, but was eclipsed by Chubby Checker's chart-topping version), Ballard had already sold millions of records in the Fifties, including the trilogy "Work With Me Annie" (1954), "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie's Aunt Fannie" (1955). Despite these songs' suggestive lyrics which got them banned from many radio stations, each sold more than a million copies. In addition to "The Twist," Ballard charted with several other dance tunes. "Finger Poppin' Time" went Top Ten in 1960. Other hits included "The Continental Walk" and "The Switch-A-Roo." His only other Top Ten was "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go." In 1990 Ballard was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame as a performer.Rhino does its usual outstanding job of presenting the artist's best material and Ballard's work on the King and Federal labels has never sounded better and the acompanying booklet is well written. [Several of Ballard's King releases are still available and each are worth seeking out, but if you're only going to get one CD, this is the one to own.] HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Great r&b group, with lot'd of blues feeling, and swing!
lil-rockabilly-girl | 05/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This music falls between 50's R&B, jump blues, and r&r. In any case the stores usuually keep his music in the blues section, and that may be the best description of this appealign msuic. This music can be danced to in jitterbig style, and can be lindy hopped to as well. Ballard has a sassy, and smooth voice, that is very appealing, band features sax, and it swings, jumps and rocks pretty hard. Appealing backup and group vocals are also featued, byt Hank is always the main vocie and star.A very appeling group and if you liek earlier groups like Jouis Jordan & His Tymphani 5, or Wynonnie Harris, you're sure to love what foloowed in the 50's, with Hank & The Midnighters. Those wh ohave an appreciation for rockabilyl, wil lalso enjoy this cd, or thsoe whp like to like in the 50's tetro lifestyle, an exellent cd that featured Ballards humor and bigegst hits, and includes all the "Annie" songs which were in some ways parodies to the "Roll With Me Henry" song covered by Etta James.GRAET CD!"