Wednesday, October 14, 2009


With his grinding guitars, distorted sound and fervid call-and-response of those and many other recordings made for the King and Federal labels, Hank Ballard helped define the sound of rock and roll. He also ushered forth one of its greatest dance crazes, having written and first recorded “The Twist.” By the early 1960s, he’d charted 22 singles on the R&B charts, including “Work With Me, Annie,” which was the biggest R&B hit of 1954. It sold more than a million copies and spawned more than 20 answer records (including Etta James’ “Roll with Me Henry").

By the late '60's, Ballard was working as a solo act, often with James Brown's revue, and 1968's "How You Gonna Get Respect (If You Haven't Cut Your Process Yet?)" was a minor R&B hit, and is one of the funkiest tunes from his catalog.

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