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One and Only/Spotlight on Hank Ballard
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Album: One and Only/Spotlight on Hank Ballard
# Song Title   Time
1)    Sugaree
2)    Rain Down Tears
3)    Cute Little Ways
4)    House with No Windows
5)    Everybody Does Wrong Some Time
6)    So Good to Be Home
7)    Kansas City
8)    I'll Keep You Happy
9)    I'm Crying Mercy, Mercy
10)    She's Got a Whole Lot of Soul
11)    I'll Pray for You
12)    Move, Move, Move
13)    Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
14)    Mona Lisa
15)    When I Need You
16)    Goodbye-So Long
17)    I Must Be Crazy
18)    Just One More Chance
19)    Hoochie Coochie Coo, The
20)    If You'd Forgive Me
21)    Summertime
22)    I'm Sick of You
23)    I'm Thinking of You
24)    These Young Girls
25)    Keep on Dancing
26)    Let's Go Again
27)    Switch-A-Roo, The
28)    Good Twistin' Tonight
 

Album: One and Only/Spotlight on Hank Ballard
# Song Title   Time
1)    Sugaree
2)    Rain Down Tears
3)    Cute Little Ways
4)    House with No Windows
5)    Everybody Does Wrong Some Time
6)    So Good to Be Home
7)    Kansas City
8)    I'll Keep You Happy
9)    I'm Crying Mercy, Mercy
10)    She's Got a Whole Lot of Soul
11)    I'll Pray for You
12)    Move, Move, Move
13)    Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
14)    Mona Lisa
15)    When I Need You
16)    Goodbye-So Long
17)    I Must Be Crazy
18)    Just One More Chance
19)    Hoochie Coochie Coo, The
20)    If You'd Forgive Me
21)    Summertime
22)    I'm Sick of You
23)    I'm Thinking of You
24)    These Young Girls
25)    Keep on Dancing
26)    Let's Go Again
27)    Switch-A-Roo, The
28)    Good Twistin' Tonight
 
Product Description
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Hank Ballard (baritone); Lawson Smith, Henry Booth (vocals, tenor); Freddie Pride (baritone); J.C. Billy Davis , Mickey Baker (guitar); Paul "Bugs" Dwyer (alto saxophone); Henry Moore, Buddy Lucas (tenor saxophone).
  • Liner Note Author: Gary Blailock.
  • Recording information: King Records Studios, Cincinnati, OH (1959-1962).
  • The early '60s were a somewhat precarious time for R&B pioneer Hank Ballard; in 1960, six years after the Midnighters' "Work with Me, Annie" made him a star, he scored two of his biggest pop hits, "Finger Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go," but by 1962, his days on the pop charts would be over forever, and he'd spend years angling for a comeback that never happened. This two-fer release pairs up two of Ballard's albums from this era, 1960's The One and Only Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and 1961's Spotlight on Hank Ballard, which capture Ballard in strong form despite a slight degree of creative uncertainty. These sides sometimes find Ballard aiming as much for the pop charts as the R&B circuit where he had first won fame: this thinking was typified by reworking 1954's "Sexy Ways" into the less lascivious "Cute Little Ways," and this music sounds more polished and refined than the wild sides that defined him as R&B's double-entendre man a few years earlier (it's hard to imagine Ballard cutting "Mona Lisa" or "Summertime" in the Midnighters' glory days). But Ballard's voice is in excellent shape throughout, and though he tries harder to play nice on this material, on tunes like "I Must Be Crazy," "The Hoochie Coochie Coo," "These Young Girls," and his version of "Kansas City," he's happy to let his nasty side have its day in the sun, and he sounds delighted to be doing so. This being the early '60s, the stereo mixes on some of these songs are eccentric and distracting (on one cut, the vocals and the entire band are in the right channel, while the left features only handclaps), but for the most part the audio here is good, and if these two albums don't deliver Hank Ballard at his very best, he's still sounding like he's got his chops and his confidence, and if you love early R&B and rock & roll, this should be right up your alley. ~ Mark Deming
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