Charli Baltimore: No more drama

Refocused and full of determination, Charli says she’s got what it takes to rock the mic right. B.I.G.’s former mistress, Ms. B-More, has returned to the rap game. Give her one more chance. FROM THE MOMENT she popped onto hip-hop’s jumbo screen, people have hated on Charli Baltimore. “Who does that bitch think she is?” … Read more

Singles From the Four Tops, Percy Sledge et al

A lack of new ideas but another Tops success FOUR TOPS: ‘Standing In The Shadows Of Love’ (Tamla Motown). The Motown Record Corp. would never miss out on a good thing. The good thing was ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’, a number one hit in England and America and subsequently the Four Tops’ follow-up has … Read more

Acker Bilk; Kenny Ball: Alan Smith Goes Sailing With Two Of Britain’s Top Disc Stars

Acker’s Happy With His Vocal Success BRITAIN’S trad kings Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball had an unusual way of celebrating their respective hit discs at the weekend – they went for a boat trip. But it was no ordinary jaunt round the light-house! Instead, they contributed nearly four hours of swinging trad to the famous … Read more

Bilk Courts ‘Twins’: Ball Sticks to Band

Ian Dove talks to two trad giants and finds different outlooks ‘A TASTE OF Honey’ and ‘Sukiyaki’ — two very different discs by the leaders of the British trad jazz business, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball — are in the NME Chart. Mr. Bilk’s is jazz-with-strings. Mr. Ball gives a straightforward jazz with no strings attached and … Read more

Kenny Ball talks about the Kingston Trio

JAZZMAN KENNY Ball is happy about appearing with America’s top folk group, the Kingston Trio… a group he saw on his recent American tour. He has his reasons: “I think the combination will go down very well with our audiences. I’ve worked with folk artists before, people like Steve Benbow and the Gaillards, Robin Hall … Read more

Kenny Ball and Heinz on the Film Set

ONE HOUR’S worth of story, 20 minutes of music (including Kenny Ball’s new hit ‘Rondo’) is the way they’ve planned Britain’s latest pop film, Live It Up. I was told: “The public doesn’t just want to see a string of artists any more. You’ve got to have a story.” This doesn’t mean you won’t see plenty … Read more

Dave Mason & Cass Elliott, Ballin’ Jack, P.F. Sloan: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA

THE WORLD debut of Dave Mason’s new group, featuring Cass Elliot, was a noteworthy occasion in more ways than one. For second billed was Ballin’ Jack, a group showing considerable promise, and third act was the return of P.F. Sloan, composer of ‘Eve of Destruction’. Sloan, whose reputation as a composer (many Grass Roots records, … Read more

Guess Who, Ballin’ Jack: Convention Center, Anaheim

CANADA’S GUESS Who radiated indifference at the Anaheim Convention Center Friday night. Its music is an undistinguished pastiche of mainstream rock ‘n’ roll’s most frequently recurring clichés. It reminds a little of a lot of other groups. Spirit, Steppenwolf and Moby Grape. Not even its name, which originally belonged to a studio group comprising members … Read more

Hank Ballard & The Royals

THE ROYALS HAD a brief but important part to play in the development of rock ‘n’ roll. They were door-openers much like the Chords and Crows, and just like those other groups, they quickly faded from the public eye. Only after a transformation into ‘Hank Ballard & The Midnighters’ in 1959 did they regain their … Read more

Hank Ballard: A Talk With Mr. Twister

If you not movin’ your hips, it just ain’t happenin’.– Hank Ballard on dancing AT ONE POINT in Ron Mann’s exuberant, informative, and entertaining documentary Twist (which opens Friday at the Sunset 5), an unusually sober-toned Hank Ballard states with quiet, but assured authority, “I gave the world the biggest dance craze ever.” Rhythm ‘n blues fans … Read more

Hank Ballard 1927-2003

RHYTHM & BLUES singer Hank Ballard (76) died of throat cancer on March 2 at his home in Los Angeles. His chief claim to fame is that he wrote ‘The Twist,’ a dance number that went on to become a Number One pop hit for Chubby Checker in September 1960 and again in the first … Read more

The Grim Reporter 

Phast Phreddie Patterson on those gone but not forgotten RHYTHM & BLUES singer Hank Ballard (76) died of throat cancer on March 2 at his home in Los Angeles. His chief claim to fame is that he wrote ‘The Twist,’ a dance number that went on to become a Number One pop hit for Chubby Checker in … Read more

Let’s Twist again

Fifty years ago, a new dance craze swept the world and changed for ever the way people move. Richard Williams, up on his feet when it first hit the dancefloor, celebrates the birth of a revolution. THE FINGER presses the plastic button. The little black disc drops down and the needle finds the groove. Within seconds … Read more

Hank Ballard: A Simple Twist of Fate

Chubby Checker may have become synonymous with ‘The Twist’, but that didn’t bother the song’s composer. “It was a blessing for me,” said Hank Ballard of Checker’s multi-million seller. David Burke looks back at the career of an artist who was at the vanguard of rock’n’roll.  “I GAVE THE world the biggest dance craze ever,” … Read more

Hank Ballard Revisited

IN DAYTONA Beach it rains every afternoon for half an hour or so. When Hank Ballard arrived, it was raining. It’s hard to make a dignified entrance in the rain. Arriving in a Cadillac helped. The Midnighters’ rather formal traveling duds helped too — for example, a cranberry banlon knit shirt, lemon metallic slacks, contrasting … Read more

Hank Ballard: The Man Who Twisted Himself

COVER VERSIONS have long been the bane of the rhythm and blues field of music. During the ‘Fifties, the major record companies kept their ears open for promising tunes by black artists then recorded them for the white market using clean-cut All-American white boys, Pat Boone being the most notorious plagiarist of them all. It … Read more

The All Platinum Sound

Moments, Whatnauts, Shirley And Company, Sylvia… the chartbusting music they’re calling the “New Jersey Sound” comes from just one source: All Platinum Records. Tony Cummings reports… IN 1963 MICKEY Baker, guitarist extraordinaire, finally became disillusioned with the hectic wheeling and dealing of the New York studio scene and split to France. Sylvia, his singing partner … Read more