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Greatest Hits

Hank Ballard

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Album Review

Hank Ballard was one of the most influential R&B artists of the 1950s — it's difficult to imagine a James Brown or even an Otis Redding without the raw and rough-edged template that Ballard and his group the Midnighters provided. This brief set includes all eight of Ballard's chart hits, including the raunchy (particularly for the times) "Annie" trilogy, "Work with Me Annie," "Annie Had a Baby," and "Annie's Aunt Fannie." Then there's a little song Ballard wrote called "The Twist," which Chubby Checker took to the top of the charts in 1960, starting off a worldwide dance craze in the process. Ballard's own version was released the year before as the B-side to "Teardrops on Your Letter," and is included here.

Biography

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...
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Greatest Hits, Hank Ballard
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