Nothing But Good (1952-1962)

Nothing But Good (1952-1962)

by Hank Ballard
In rock & roll shorthand, Hank Ballard is the man who invented "the Twist," only to see Chubby Checker steal it out from under him. It is true but it's too simplistic, overlooking his earlier down-and-dirty -- very dirty -- R&B hits like "Work with Me Annie," how he twisted and expanded his Clyde


In rock & roll shorthand, Hank Ballard is the man who invented "the Twist," only to see Chubby Checker steal it out from under him. It is true but it's too simplistic, overlooking his earlier down-and-dirty -- very dirty -- R&B hits like "Work with Me Annie," how he twisted and expanded his Clyde McPhatter influence into a raw, gritty sound that influenced James Brown, how he and the Midnighters, the group he overtook in 1952, built a body of work that contains some of the best R&B and rock & roll of its time. Ballard embodied his time -- he worked with a vocal group, he didn't necessarily push sounds forward -- but he was a transitional figure because of his earthiness, how his voice dripped with carnality and his music had great, gritty rhythms. All this can be discerned on Rhino's excellent 2003 compilation Sexy Ways, but Bear Family's exhaustive box, Nothing But Good (1952-1962), winds up painting a fuller picture with its details, allowing a greater appreciation for his considerable talents. That isn't to say that the five discs of Nothing But Good are nothing but good -- there's a fair amount of formative recordings and filler, not to mention novelties, and Ballard was not above attempting to get another hit by copying the last, at one time shoehorning all three of his big hits into one song. Some of this was standard practice for rockers desperate to score another hit, but Ballard enthusiastically embraced sequels and rewrites right from the beginning, cutting a series of answers to his first big hit, 1954's "Work with Me Annie." Within a year, he had "Work Baby," "Annie Had a Baby," and "Annie's Aunt Fannie," and he would repeat this pattern once Chubby Checker turned Ballard's B-side, "The Twist," into a hit. Surely, there's a streak of commercial opportunism more than a mile wide at play, but listening to disc after disc on Nothing But Good, Ballard never seems crass, he seems joyous and alive. His energy and phrasing were a clear influence on James Brown, as was the Midnighters' blend of doo wop, dance, and guitar-driven R&B, one that had strong elements of urban electric blues, best heard on the churning, grinding hit "Look at Little Sister" but elsewhere, like on "I Must Be Crazy." All this apparent comes into sharp relief due the heft of this five-disc set, a box that certainly has a few wrong turns if not necessarily slow spots, for it's all fascinating, often invigorating listening. In fact, the sheer volume of Nothing But Good works in Ballard's favor, proving that he was a tireless, infectious performer whose talents ran far deeper than conventional wisdom suggests.

Product Details

Release Date:
Bear Family Germany

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. I Feel So Blue
  2. Are You Forgetting
  3. Get It
  4. No, It Ain't
  5. That's It
  6. Hello Miss Fine
  7. Someone Like You
  8. I Feel That-A-Way
  9. That Woman
  10. Work with Me Annie
  11. Work with Me Annie
  12. Until I Die
  13. Give It Up
  14. Work Baby
  15. Work Baby
  16. Sexy Ways
  17. Don't Say Your Last Goodbye
  18. Annie Had a Baby
  19. She's the One
  20. Annie's Aunt Fannie
  21. Stingy Little Thing
  22. Crazy Loving (Stay with Me)
  23. Tell Them
  24. Switchie Witchie Titchie
  25. Switchie Witchie Titchie
  26. Why Are We Apart
  27. Ashamed of Myself
  28. Ring A-Ling A-Ling
  29. Whatsonever You Do
  30. Don't Ever Change Your Pretty Ways
  31. We'll Never Meet Again
  32. Looka Here

Disc 2

  1. Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More)
  2. It's Love, Baby (24 Hours a Day)
  3. Rock and Roll Wedding
  4. That House on the Hill
  5. Partners for Life
  6. Open Up the Back Door
  7. Sweet Mama, Do Right
  8. Rock, Granny, Roll
  9. Tore Up Over You
  10. Early One Morning
  11. Let Me Hold Your Hand
  12. I'll Be Home Someday
  13. Ooh Bah Baby
  14. Baby Please
  15. Come on and Get It
  16. Ow-Wow-Oo-Wee
  17. E Basta Cosi
  18. In the Doorway Crying
  19. Let 'Em Roll
  20. What Made You Change Your Mind
  21. Let 'Em Roll
  22. Is Your Love for Real
  23. Oh So Happy
  24. Daddy's Little Baby
  25. Stay by My Side
  26. The Twist
  27. I'll Pray for You

Disc 3

  1. The Twist
  2. The Twist
  3. Teardrops on Your Letter
  4. I'll Pray for You
  5. Everybody Does Wrong Some Time
  6. Kansas City
  7. Cute Little Ways
  8. So Good to Be Home
  9. House with No Windows
  10. Rain Down Tears
  11. I'll Keep You Happy
  12. She's Got a Whole Lot of Soul
  13. Sugaree
  14. Sugaree
  15. Young Lady
  16. Move, Move, Move
  17. I'm Crying Mercy, Mercy
  18. Leave That Fat
  19. I Said I Wouldn't Beg You
  20. Look at Little Sister
  21. I Could Love You
  22. Never Knew
  23. The Coffee Grind
  24. Waiting
  25. Don't Go I Love You
  26. I Love You, I Love You So-o-o
  27. I Must Be Crazy
  28. These Young Girls
  29. Finger Poppin' Time
  30. I'm Thinking of You

Disc 4

  1. Young Lady
  2. Broadway
  3. Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go
  4. I'm Sick of You
  5. Keep on Dancing
  6. Keep on Churnin' (Till the Butter Come)
  7. Goodbye So Long
  8. When I Need You
  9. If You'd Forgive Me
  10. When I Need You
  11. The Hoochi Coochi Coo
  12. Mona Lisa
  13. The Hoochi Coochi Coo
  14. Just One More Chance
  15. Summertime
  16. I Like to See My Baby
  17. Let's Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)
  18. You Ain't Nothing But Fine
  19. Where Is the Love
  20. Deep Blue Sea
  21. I'm So Crazy About You
  22. I'm Young
  23. What Is This I See
  24. I'm Gonna Miss You
  25. Daddy Rolling Stone
  26. The Continental Walk
  27. The Switch-A-Roo
  28. The Float
  29. I Belong to You (You're the Keeper of My Heart)
  30. I Got a Mind to Leave You (I Got a Mind to Go Back Home)

Disc 5

  1. Big Red Sunset
  2. Big Red Sunset
  3. Big Red Sunset
  4. Can't You See I Need a Friend
  5. Nothing But Good
  6. Do You Remember
  7. Hello Lover, Goodbye Tears
  8. Miss Twister
  9. Up and Away
  10. Up and Away
  11. Do You Know How to Twist
  12. Do You Know How to Twist
  13. It's Twistin' Time
  14. Good Twistin' Tonight
  15. Get Ready
  16. I Want to Thank You (From the Bottom of My Heart)
  17. Your Lovin'
  18. She's the One
  19. Dream World
  20. Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)
  21. Autumn Breeze
  22. What's Your Name
  23. I'm Learning
  24. After School
  25. Shaky Mae
  26. Christmas Time for Everybody But Me
  27. I Love and Care for You
  28. Santa Claus Is Coming
  29. Santa Claus Is Coming
  30. Love, Oh Love (Where Can You Be)
  31. Bring Me Your Love

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hank Ballard   Primary Artist,Vocals,Group Member
Ivory Joe Hunter   Piano
Bill Doggett   Piano
Arnett Cobb   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Williams   Bass
Dud Bascomb   Trumpet
Todd Rhodes   Piano
Don Wilkerson   Tenor Saxophone
Sil Austin   Tenor Saxophone
David T. Walker   Guitar
Little Willie John   Track Performer
Cal Green   Guitar,Leader
Sonny Thompson   Piano
Ray Copeland   Trumpet
Christine Chatman   Piano
Edwyn Conley   Bass
George DeHart   Drums
John Faire   Guitar
Bill Graham   Baritone Saxophone
Jewell L. Grant   Saxophone
Dickie Harris   Trombone
Ernie Hayes   Piano
Haywood Henry   Baritone Saxophone
Albert Jones   Drums
Fred Jordan   Guitar
Buddy Lucas   Tenor Saxophone
Clarence Mack   Bass
Horace Ott   Piano
Philip Paul   Drums
Carl Pruitt   Bass
Gene Redd   Trumpet,Vibes,Slide Whistle
Emile Russell   Drums
Louis Stephens   Tenor Saxophone
Harold Wallace   Baritone Saxophone
Richard Waters   Drums
Charles "Hungry" Williams   Drums
Percy France   Tenor Saxophone
Wilbert Dyer   Alto Saxophone
Ray Felder   Tenor Saxophone
Edison Gore   Drums
Clarence Kenner   Guitar
Henry Booth   Tenor (Vocal),Group Member
Garnell Cooper   Tenor Saxophone
Lawson Smith   Baritone (Vocal),Group Member
Charles Sutton   Vocals,Baritone (Vocal)
Norman Thrasher   Bass (Vocal),Group Member
Sonny Woods   Bass (Vocal)
J.C. Davis   Guitar
Navarro Hastings   Electric Bass
Florence Pleasant   Piano
Nooruddin Zafar   Drums
David Hamilton   Guitar
Alonzo Tucker   Vocals
Marion Wright   Electric Bass
Maxwell Lucas   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Barney Richmond   Bass
Alphonse Strether   Tenor Saxophone
Vonzell Cooper   Organ,Piano
Robert Darby   Tenor Saxophone
Arthur Porter   Guitar
Joe Swift   Bass
Leonard Smith   Bass
Jimmy Johnson   Piano
Dave Hamilton Band   Guitar
Joe Richardson Express   Guitar
Robert Boswell   Drums
Berisford "Shep" Shepherd   Drums
Alexander Nelson   Baritone Saxophone
Eddie Smith & the Hornets   Piano
Clarence Moten   Bass
Perry Deal   Piano
Clarence Fisher   Bass
Emmanuel Kennebrew   Piano
H.T. Martin   Bass
James E. Moore   Tenor Saxophone
Wilbur Shock   Drums
Clifford Woods   Trombone
Elmer Yates   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Buck Owens   Composer
Marty Robbins   Composer
Hank Ballard   Composer
Don Covay   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Cal Green   Composer
Ralph Bass   Composer,Producer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Henry Glover   Composer,Producer
Hal Gordon   Composer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Kasha   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Horace Ott   Arranger,Composer,Director
Gene Redd   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Rudy Toombs   Composer
Ed Townsend   Composer
Kelly Owens   Composer
Henry Stone   Producer
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes,Illustrations,Tape Comparison,Biographical Information
Lowman Pauling   Composer
Henry Booth   Composer
Billy Myles   Composer
Syd Nathan   Producer
Lawson Smith   Composer
Charles Sutton   Composer
Norman Thrasher   Composer
Sonny Woods   Composer
Dave Booth   Illustrations,Tape Comparison
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer,Tape Research
Navarro Hastings   Composer
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Jurgen Koop   Illustrations
Alonzo Tucker   Composer
Lois Mann   Composer
Robert Riley   Composer
Albert Shubert   Composer
Sy Soloway   Composer
Shirley Wolfe   Composer
Robin Barry   Composer
Gordon Evans   Composer
Ted Jarrett   Composer
Victor Pearlin   Illustrations
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer
Erich Hülsenbeck   Photo Scanning
Mertis John   Composer
Andreas Merck   Photo Scanning
Paul Harris   Illustrations
Beverly Bridge   Composer
Ruth Kardon   Composer
Daniel Gersdorf   Photo Restoration
Mychael Gerstenberger   Artwork
Jimmy Johnson   Composer

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