Hank Ballard was a native of Detroit who was considered (along with Bill Haley) to be one of the first rock and roll artists to emerge in the 1950s. Hank Ballard released a song called ‘Teardrops On Your Letter’ in 1959 along with his group, The Midnighters. On the B-Side of that single was another song written by the band, called ‘The Twist.’ It was barely a modest success upon its release, until it was re-recorded by Chubby Checker and released the following year, becoming a #1 hit and a dance craze across the USA. Checker may have popularized the song and dance, but those rock and roll roots were first nourished by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters in Detroit.
Please enjoy a video interview with Hank Ballard and The Midnighters about some of their best-known songs and what playing music means to them, and also the original version of ‘The Twist’ below.