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The Midnighters Timeline


1927

Henry Bernard “Hank” Ballard, of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, is born in Detroit. He will be raised by an aunt and uncle in Alabama.

1934

Henry Booth, tenor singer for Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, is born in Montgomery, Alabama.

1934

Cal Green, guitarist for Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, is born in Dayton, Texas.

1935

Ardra “Sonny” Woods, bass singer for Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, is born in Detroit.

1950

The Royals - vocalists Sonny Woods, Henry Booth, Charles Sutton and Lawson Smith, and guitarist/arranger Alonzo Tucker – are formed in Detroit.

1952

Signed to King Records, the Royals record “Every Beat of My Heart,” which will be released on the Federal label, a King subsidiary.

1953

“Get It,” by the Royals (soon to be the Midnighters), enters the R&B chart, where it will peak at #6. It is the group’s first record to feature recent arrival Hank Ballard as lead singer.

1954

“Work With Me Annie,” by the Midnighters, enters the R&B chart, which it will top for seven weeks.

1954

“Sexy Ways,” by the Midnighters, enters the R&B chart, where it will reach #2.

1954

“Annie Had a Baby” – the Midnighters’ sequel to “Work With Me Annie” – enters the R&B chart, which it will top for two weeks.

1954

“Annie’s Aunt Fannie” - the third song in the Midnighters’ raunchy “Annie” series - enters the R&B chart, where it will peak at #10.

1955

Etta James’ “Roll With Me Henry (The Wallflower)” – an answer song to the Midnighters’ “Work With Me Annie” – enters the R&B chart, which it will top for four weeks.

1955

Georgia Gibbs’ “Dance With Me Henry (Wallflower)” – a sanitized version of Etta James’ “Roll With Me Henry (The Wallflower)”– enters the pop chart, which it will top for three weeks.

1955

“It’s Love Baby (24 Hours a Day),” by the Midnighters, enters the R&B chart, where it will become the group’s sixth Top Ten hit in two years – and their last single to chart for 3½ years.

1958

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters record “The Twist” at King Records’ studio in Cincinnati, a song that will ignite a twist craze that will last into the mid-Sixties.

1959

“Teardrops On Your Pillow,” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, enters the R&B chart, where it will peak at #4.

1959

As the B side of “Teardrops On Your Pillow,” the original version of “The Twist,” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, enters the R&B chart, where it will peak at #16.

1960

“Finger Poppin’ Time,” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, enters the charts, where it will peak at #2 R&B and #7 pop.

1960

A re-release of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ “The Twist” enters the charts, where it will peak at #6 R&B and #28 pop.

1960

“Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go,” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, enters the charts. It will top the R&B chart for three weeks and reach #6 on the pop side.

1960

Chubby Checkers’ cover of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ “The Twist” tops the pop chart and reaches #2 on the R&B chart.

1961

“Every Beat of My Heart,” by Henry Booth and the Midnighters, is released. It will just miss the Hot 100, reaching #113.

1961

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters enter the R&B charts for the 20th and last time with “Nothing But Good,” which will reach #9. It is their 14th Top Ten R&B hit.

1962

A re-release of “The Twist,” by Chubby Checker, tops the pop chart for the second time for the first of two weeks.

1965

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters disband, and Ballard pursues a solo career.

1978

Henry Booth of the Midnighters dies.

1990

Hank Ballard is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the fifth annual induction ceremony. Boz Scaggs is his presenter.

1992

Hank Ballard receives the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award.

2003

Hank Ballard dies of throat cancer in Los Angeles. He is 75 years old.

2004

Cal Green, guitarist for Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, dies of an aneurysm in Lake View Terrace, California. He is 70 years old.

2010

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters are voted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.

2012

The Midnighters are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 27th annual induction dinner. Smokey Robinson is their presenter.

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