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Hank Ballard (born John Henry Kendricks; November 18, 1927 – March 2, 2003) was a rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, the lead vocalist of Hank Ballard and The Midnighters and one of the first rock and 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" with his Midnighters. 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. Early years Born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit, Michigan, Ballard along with his brother, Dove Ballard, grew up and attended school in Bessemer, Alabama after the death of their father. He lived with his paternal aunt and her husband, and began singing in church. His major vocal inspiration during his formative years was the "Singing Cowboy", Gene Autry, and in...
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