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  • Ballard Hank & The Midniters - Nothing But Good (1952-1962) 5CDBox+ BOOK (CD)


    YKSI PARHAISTA R&B ARTISTEISTA!! ODOTETTU BOXI! Hank Ballard and The Midnighters were the first professional vocal group young James Brown ever witnessed in person.

    He vowed one day soon he’d be onstage doing the very same thing.

    Long before The Temptations, Four Tops, and Spinners made Detroit ground zero for soulful male vocal groups, the city

    spawned Hank Ballard & The Midnighters.

    They were the Motor City’s first nationally successful R&B group despite their risque 1954 R&B chart-topper Work With

    Me Annie and its equally raunchy smash followup Annie Had A Baby being banned from most U.S. radio airwaves.

    Ballard’s singularly dynamic lead tenor and the muscular harmonies and uproarious onstage hijinks of the Midnighters

    were enormously influential to everyone from The Contours to James Brown. In 1958, the group cut the original version

    of The Twist, which Hank wrote, only to see Chubby Checker score one of the biggest smashes of the era with a

    soundalike cover. Ballard and his crew got a measure of revenge by cutting a slew of early ’60s dance hits for

    Cincinnati-based King Records, most notably Finger Poppin’ Time, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go, and The Hoochie

    Coochi Coo. There have been several greatest hits compilations by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters over the years, but never

    anything on the all-inclusive scale of Bear Family’s new boxed set by the group. Its five jam-packed discs open with

    Hank’s earliest appearances as lead singer of The Royals before collecting every song The Midnighters recorded from

    1954 through 1962, first for King’s Federal subsidiary and from ’58 on for the parent King logo. Though he could belt the

    blues with livewire intensity (and does here), Ballard’s group was primarily concerned with rocking the house. They were

    one of the first vocal groups to record with their own band, initially led by blistering Houston guitarist Cal Green, whose

    solos are frequently mind-boggling.

    This mammoth collection unearths several previously unreleased titles including a 1960 rendition of Wynonie Harris’

    Keep On Churnin’ (’Til The Butter Come), a selection of unheard alternate takes, and a slew of obscure 45s and album

    tracks that have consistently eluded CD reissue until now. Also aboard is the demo of The Twist that the group cut for

    Miami producer Henry Stone prior to re-signing with King.

    Never has the recorded legacy of the late Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Famer been treated with such loving care and respect,

    and never have he and his group sounded better!

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