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Monday, 30 May 2016

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters - What You Get When The Gettin Gets Good

Side One:
01. Work With Me Annie
02. Sexy Ways
03. Don't Change Your Pretty Ways
04. Rock And Roll Wedding
05. Open Up The Back Door
06. Rock, Granny, Roll
07. Tore Up Over You
08. Is Your Love For Real?

Side Two:
01. The Twist
02. Teardrops On Your Letter
03. Kansas City
04. Sugaree
05. Finger Poppin' Time
06. Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
07. What Is This I See?
08. I'm Gonna Miss You

Download from:

I wasn't going to post this one as it has already appeared on several other blogs, but after listening to a load of Midnighters' tracks while putting together the previous post on the Hank Ballard & The Midnighters King LP and then discovering that I'd already ripped this LP several years ago, I thought 'what the heckola, let's get it out there.'

So after completing the mad task of scanning a complete gatefold LP sleeve, here 'tis in all its glory - one of the best of the 1980s R&B reissue LPs. Now you can listen to many of the tracks mentioned in the previous post, although one humungous omission is "It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)." Seek it elsewhere and ye shall find.

There are only 2 tracks from the year of the Midnighters' breakthrough, 1954, i.e. "Work With Me Annie" which they recorded while they were still The Royals, and "Sexy Ways", the title of which must have caused consternation back in the straight laced '50s.

The rest of Side One consists of great rock and roll tracks from 1955 - 57 which failed to chart. Several reasons have been forwarded for this - The Midnighters were associated with "off colour" R&B thanks to material like "Sexy Ways" and couldn't get airplay; King / Federal boss Syd Nathan failed to promote them properly; or alternatively Syd Nathan was unwilling to come up with the required payola.

Side Two is a selection of tracks from the years when, billed as "Hank Ballard & The Midnighters" and now recording for King instead of its Federal subsidiary, the group returned to the charts big style, starting with "Teardrops On Your Letter" / "The Twist" in 1959. The latter track became an international pop and dance phenomenon, but for Chubby Checker's cover version, not for Hank Ballard's original recording. Nevertheless The Midnighters enjoyed a couple of years of hits partly on the back of "The Twist" and who could begrudge them that?

The LP notes include full recording details (including backing musicians) of all the tracks and an excellent essay by Cliff White.


Chi-Town said...

Thanks for this LP boogiewoody. Hank was very much misunderstood.


boogiewoody said...

Cheers, Chi-Town!

teddy cat baz said...

cheers boogiewoody