The Midnighters

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Smokey Robinson
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Stirring up trouble with bawdy, frantic party songs.

The Midnighters backed Hank Ballard on such risqué hits as “Work With Me Annie.” Together they scored hits on both pop and R&B charts, delighting audiences and themselves with their daring.

Hall of Fame Essay


Robert Burke Warren

To see how vocal groups helped form the music that would come to be known as rock & roll, one need only look to Detroit’s the Midnighters.

As the Four Falcons in late 1950/early 1951, the vocal group initially consisted of lead singers Henry Booth and Charles Sutton, harmony vocalists Lawson Smith and Sonny Woods, and guitarist Alonzo Tucker. A solid live act very similar to the silky-smooth Orioles, the group changed its name to the Royals and was signed to Federal Records in 1952 by Johnny Otis. It did not distinguish itself, however, until Hank Ballard replaced Smith in 1953.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2012
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They made you want to find somebody to dance with
Smokey Robinson



Photography: Getty/WireImage