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Posted by: In: Other 18 Nov 2021 Comments: 0


493-Hank Ballard & the Midnighters-Work With Me, Annie.

1954-Has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.42. Before ‘Je t’aime,Moi Non Plus,’God Save the Queen,’Relax,’ anything by Judge Dread, and loads of others, the radio wouldn’t play this in an attempt to save our youth from being corrupted.

This songs writer Hank Ballard was born John Henry Kendricks, on November 18th, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, United States, he died on March 2nd, 2003, from throat cancer at the age of 75. Aside from this ground breaking song, he would achieve even greater success when his composition ‘The Twist’ was covered by Chubby Checker (see also best songs 749) reaching Number 1 on Billboard on two separate occasions.Ballard was the cousin of Florence Ballard (1943-1976) a founding member of The Supremes, and he was also the great uncle of NFL player Christian Ballard.

In 1953 Ballard joined the ‘Doo-Wop’ group the Royals, who after the release of early singles changed their name to the ‘Midnighters’ in order as to not cause confusion with another group called the ‘5 Royals.’ In 1954 Ballard wrote ‘Work With Me Annie,’ he was inspired to write it after hearing the sexually explicit song ‘Sixty Minute Man’ by the ‘Dominoes.’ The lyrics were extremely sexually explicit for the period, with many radio stations refusing to play the song, for example ‘work’ was ghetto slang for sexual intercourse. Peter Potter who was a judge on the ‘CBS’ television programme ‘Juke Box Jury’ said of the song,’All R&B records are dirty, and as bad for kids as dope.”Work With Me Annie’ is recognised as one of the most influential songs in the development of Rock music, because of it’s big bass beat, electric guitar, and sexually suggestive lyrics. The song spurned other songs about ‘Annie,’ such as ‘Annie Had a Baby,’ also recorded by the Midnighters, and also ‘answer songs’ such as ‘Roll with Me, Henry,’ notably recorded by Etta James, and also by Georgia Gibbs.

Hank Ballard & the Midnighters were active until the mid 1960’s, achieving eight Billboard top 40 singles. After the split, Ballard pursued a solo career, his 1969 Album ‘You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down’ was produced by James Brown. Ballard also appeared on two tracks on Brown’s 1972 Album ‘Get On the Good Foot.’ In 1979 he turned his hand to ‘Disco,’ recording the track ‘Freak Your Boom-Boom,’ before reforming the Midnighters, who performed together through until 2002.

‘Annie please don’t cheat, give me all my meat.Work with me Annie, now let’s get it, while the gettin’ is good.’