Hank Ballard (vocals; born November 18, 1927, died March 2, 2003) and the Midnighters (Henry Booth: vocals, born March 7, 1934, died 1978; Billy Davis: guitar; Cal Green: guitar, born June 22, 1935, died July 4, 2004; Arthur Porter guitar; Lawson Smith: vocals; Charles Sutton: vocals, Norman Thrasher: vocals; Sonny Woods: vocals, born March 6, 1935, died 1984) are remembered for recording a trilogy of risqué R&B numbers: “Work with Me, Annie,” “Annie Had a Baby,” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie.” Yet their contribution to rock and roll goes much deeper than that. With the grinding guitars, distorted sound, and fervid call-and-response of those and many other recordings made for the King and Federal labels, Ballard and the Midnighters helped define the sound of rock and roll.
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