Music Legends: Hank Ballard

Far too many genre-bending artists from the 50’s and 60’s have been vastly under-appreciated by the post-MTV (as in when there was M in MTV) generation.  One of them is the guy who wrote “The Twist,” among many other great songs.


Hank Ballard (November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003), born John Henry Kendricks, was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and one of the first rock ‘n’ roll artists to emerge in the early 1950s. He played an integral part in the development of the genre, releasing the hit singles “Work With Me, Annie” and answer songs “Annie Had a Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie.”  He later wrote and recorded “The Twist,” which spread the popularity of the dance and was notably covered by Chubby Checker.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Hank Ballard recorded a lot of great songs, but my favorite, and one of my all-time favorite songs, is “I’m Gonna Miss You.”

His cousin was another artist of note- Florence Ballard of The Supremes.