Hank was a Detroit, Michigan native; performing young in church and enjoying the sounds of singing cowboy Gene Autry. In '53, he joined up with The Royals, but they had to change their name to avoid confusion with The Five Royales. Their first big hit was in '54, "Work With Me Annie" - a huge tune with a not so subtle sexual message.
"Work with me Annie,
Let's get it while the gettin' is good!
(So Good! So Good! So Good!)"
"Annie" led to a number of answer songs like "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie's Aunt Fannie". In '54, they released respectable ballad "Tearsdrops On Your Letter", but the B-side was a monster that was a number 1 hit for Chubby Checker (twice!), "The Twist".
From Wikipedia: "Ballard & the Midnighters had several other hit singles through 1961, including the Grammy-nominated "Finger Poppin' Time" and "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" which hit number 7 and number 6, respectively, on the Billboard pop charts."
The band split in '65, never again reaching those early peaks. Hank Ballard did release a few more singles and a James Brown produced album. He passed away in 2003.
|Syd and Hank|
And, the clip: