Hank Ballard & The Midnighters 1952-1954
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- by The Secret Sisters ~ Secret Sisters ~ $8.34
- Released: March 1, 2005
- Label: Classics R&B
- 1.I Know I Love You So
- 2.Starting from Tonight
- 3.Every Beat of My Heart
- 4.All Night Long
- 5.I'll Never Let Her Go
- 6.Moon Rise
- 7.Love in My Heart
- 8.5th Street Blues
- 9.Shrine of St. Cecilia
- 10.I Feel So Blue
- 11.Are You Forgetting?
- 12.What Did I Do?
- 13.Get It
- 14.No It Ain't
- 15.That's It
- 16.Hello Miss Fine
- 17.Someone Like You
- 18.I Feel That-A-Way
- 19.That Woman - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
- 20.Work with Me Annie - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
- 21.Until I Die - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
- 22.Give It Up - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
- 23.Sexy Ways - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
- 24.Don't Say Your Last Goodbye - Hank Ballard, The Midnighters
Personnel: Hank Ballard, Henry Booth, Alonzo Tucker, Wynonie Harris, Charles Sutton (vocals); Lawson Smith (baritone); Sonny Woods (bass voice); David Hamilton , Porter, Arthur, Clarence Kenner, John Faire (guitar); Robert Darby, Sil Austin, Percy France (tenor saxophone); Sarah McLawler (piano, organ); Eddie Smith , Sonny Thompson (piano); Bill Doggett (organ); Les Erskine, Berisford "Shep" Shepherd, Wilbur Shock, Robert Boswell, Philip Paul (drums).
Liner Note Author: Dave Penny.
Recording information: Cincinnati, OH (01/08/1952-04/24/1954).
Once upon a time there was a mild-mannered Detroit vocal group called the Royals. Legend has it Jackie Wilson and Levi Stubbs (famous years later as one-fourth of the Four Tops) sang with the Royals prior to their discovery by Johnny Otis at the Paradise Theater in 1951. This Hank Ballard & the Midnighters collection in the Classics Chronological Series includes 12 selections recorded in 1952 for Federal Records in Cincinnati; these numbers reflect the Royals' early sentimental ballad aesthetic as well as their kicking rocker approach, first implanted by guest vocalist Wynonie Harris on "All Night Long" and revisited by Alonzo Tucker on "I'll Never Let Her Go." The addition of a panting hot saxophone (with either Robert Darby or Percy France blowing hot like Hal Singer) and a toothier rhythm section (Bill Doggett's band rocked and rolled behind the singers on "Are You Forgetting?") signaled a move toward looser and more sexually charged material. When Ballard replaced lead vocalist Henry Booth in 1953, that evolution was accelerated. Ballard, whose main inspiration seems to have been Clyde McPhatter, was born John Henry Kendricks on November 18, 1927. Ballard had a penchant for pleasantly smutty music with a danceable beat. Alonzo Tucker was assigned the lead vocal on "Get It," this group's first Billboard R&B hit. From here on out even the slower numbers always had a little extra kick to them, and a twangy guitar began to predominate in between juicy blasts from the saxophone. Seeking to avoid being confused with the "5" Royales, the group changed its name to the Midnighters during the summer of 1953. "Work with Me Annie," recorded in January of 1954, is still considered by some to be the greatest record this group ever made. Maybe it was the way Robert Boswell's percussion simulated the sound of a mattress being repeatedly compressed, or the singers' urgent depiction of young people desperate to get their rocks off. Something made this record irresistible and Hank Ballard & the Midnighters were hot stuff for a little while. The inevitable sequels followed suit, most blatantly the knockup classic "Annie Had a Baby," but this group's heyday was relatively short-lived. In some ways their best material is chronologically presented on this compilation. ~ arwulf arwulf
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