Record Collector (magazine) - p.794 stars out of 5
-- "Though he could do the big, emotive ballads, he really hit his stride with his rollicking, pumping jump-blues 'Work With Me Annie'..."
Personnel: Hank Ballard (vocals); Charles Sutton (vocals, baritone); Alonzo Tucker (vocals); Henry Booth (tenor); Lawson Smith (baritone); Norman Thrasher, Sonny Woods (bass voice); David Hamilton , David T. Walker, Porter, Arthur, Dave Hamilton Band , Clarence Kenner, Fred Jordan , J.C. Davis , John Faire, The Joe Richardson Express, Cal Green (guitar); Gene Redd (slide whistle, trumpet, vibraphone); Jewell L. Grant (saxophone); Maxwell Lucas (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Wilbert Dyer (alto saxophone); Garnell Cooper, James E. Moore , Don Wilkerson, Robert Darby, Alphonse Strether, Elmer Yates, Ray Felder, Arnett Cobb, Sil Austin, Percy France, Louis Stephens, Buddy Lucas (tenor saxophone); Harold Wallace, Haywood Henry, Alexander Nelson, Bill Graham (baritone saxophone); Dud Bascomb, Ray Copeland (trumpet); Clifford Woods, Dickie Harris (trombone); Vonzell Cooper (piano, organ); Eddie Smith & the Hornets, Emmanuel Kennebrew, Christine Chatman, Perry Deal, Horace Ott, Jimmy Johnson, Ivory Joe Hunter , Florence Pleasant, Sonny Thompson , Todd Rhodes, Bill Doggett, Ernie Hayes (piano); Navarro Hastings, Marion Wright (electric bass); Berisford "Shep" Shepherd, Nooruddin Zafar, Emile Russell, Richard Waters, Wilbur Shock, Robert Boswell, Edison Gore, Charles "Hungry" Williams , Albert Jones, Philip Paul, George DeHart (drums).
Audio Mixer: James Stewart.
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Recording information: Bell Sound Studio, New York, NY (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); Dallas, TX (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); Henry Stone's Studio, Miami, FL (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); King Studio, Cincinnati, OH (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); Master Recorders, Hollywood, CA (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA (11/01/1952-09/13/1962); Washington DC (11/01/1952-09/13/1962).
Director: Horace Ott.
Illustrators: Jurgen Koop; R.A. Andreas; Paul Harris ; Dave Booth; Victor Pearlin; Bill Dahl.
Photographers: Jurgen Koop; R.A. Andreas; Paul Harris ; Dave Booth; Victor Pearlin; Bill Dahl.
Arranger: Horace Ott.
An exhaustive five-disc survey of Detroit's legendary Hank Ballard & the Midnighters, NOTHING BUT GOOD 1952-62 offers an impressively comprehensive glimpse into the roots of postwar rhythm and blues. Originally led by Houston born guitarist Cal Green, the group began life on the Federal label under the name the Royals, before the national exposure granted them by their first hit, the colossal "Work With Me Annie," forced them to change their name to in deference to the popular vocal group the Five Royales. Green's coruscating lead work can be heard on tracks like "Finger Popping Time" and the frantic "Let 'Em Roll" while Hank Ballard's impassioned vocals had an enormous influence on the musical development of James Brown, who initially modeled himself after the singer.