John Kendricks, 18 November 1936, Detroit, Michigan, USA, d. 2 March 2003, Los Angeles, California, USA. His date of birth is disputed, and varies between 1927 and 1936. Ballards truck-driving father died when he was seven years old and he was sent to Bessemer, Alabama, to live with relations. The strict religious and gospel upbringing caused him to run away, and by the age of 15, Ballard was working on an assembly line at Ford Motors in Detroit. His cousin, Florence Ballard, became a member of the Detroit girl group the Supremes. Hank Ballards singing voice was heard by Sonny Woods of the Royals, who was amused by his mixture of Jimmy Rushing and Gene Autry. He was asked to replace frontman Lawson Smith during the latters army service. The Royals, who also included Henry Booth and Charles Sutton, had been recommended to King Records by Johnny Otis and had previously recorded Every Beat Of My Heart, later an R&B hit for Gladys...
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