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Sexy Ways

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Album Review

Proper Records from the U.K. does its usual fine job of presenting this single-disc compilation of the music of Hank Ballard & the Midnighters. Virtually every hit is here in wonderful sound, the package is handsome, and the picture it weaves is one of a group always looking to go deeper and wider, and to experiment. With music that ranges from the earliest doo wop sides to the burning rock & roll and R&B that encompassed both the smooth and the raucous and wild, this is a must — especially for the price.


Born: 18 November 1927 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

In the world of early rhythm & blues and doo wop, Hank Ballard was the very definition of earthiness. Though influenced by high-energy gospel vocal groups, Ballard's music with the Midnighters couldn't have been more diametrically opposed in terms of subject matter: his lyrics were filled with raunchy double-entendres that left little to the imagination, pushing the envelope of what was considered acceptable in the '50s. His songs were sometimes banned on the radio, but that only made him an even...
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