Work With Me Annie
Thursday Afternoon 1:00PM ~ 3:00PM E.S.T.
www.goldradio.org.uk ~ Internet R & B Music Program



WORK WITH ME ANNIE IS DEDICATED TO THE ENJOYMENT, PRESERVATION AND HISTORY OF 1940s ~ 1960s RHYTHM ’N’ BLUES MUSIC ~ BLACK VOCAL GROUPS, SINGLE ARTISTS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS.

MY NAME IS CARL TANCREDI. I'M A LONG TIME PHILADELPHIA, PA RECORD COLLECTOR. THIS IS ME AT AGE 50, TWENTY YEARS AGO.
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ANNIE’S VISION IS A MULTI~ MEDIA ENDEAVOR, AN INTEGRATION OF TEXT, MUSIC, AND VIDEO CONTENT SHOWCASING THE ARTISTS AND THEIR ARTISTRY.


WHO WAS ANNIE AND WHAT WAS HER WORK?

FEBRUARY 1954, ANNIE WAS A SONG CONCEIVED BY HANK BALLARD (BORN JOHN HENRY KENDRICKS). HER NAME? WORK WITH ME ANNIE (FEDERAL 12169). AT THE TIME, BALLARD SANG WITH THE ROYALS, ANOTHER 1950S, RHYTHM ’N’ BLUES VOCAL GROUP. IN HIS OWN WORDS, HANK BALLARD TALKS ABOUT ANNIE AND WORK.
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THE ROYALS RECORDED FOR FEDERAL, ONE OF THREE LABELS (KING, FEDERAL AND DELUXE), SYD NATHAN OWNED AND OPERATED. NEWLY UNDER CONTRACT AND RECORDING FOR SYD NATHAN’S KING LABEL WERE THE “5” ROYALES AN ESTABLISHED, HIT MAKING, VOCAL GROUP. TWO VOCAL GROUPS, WITH SIMILAR SOUNDING NAMES, CREATED A BOOKING PROBLEM. THE ROYALS CHANGED THEIR NAME TO THE MIDNIGHTERS. BY APRIL 1954, WORK WITH ME ANNIE WAS A BILLBOARD BUY O’ THE WEEK. LISTEN TO THE ORIGINAL, 1954 RECORDING.
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ORIGINAL PRESS

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“…Appearing this week on the Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Detroit territorial charts, the disc is also reported strong in New York, Atlanta, Nashville and St. Louis…”1

ANNIE
STARTS TO WORK, MAY 1954, BILLBOARD REPORTED,

“The Midnighters (formerly Royals) have hit the top of the best selling r. & b. charts with their Federal waxing of
Work With Me Annie…” 2

JUNE 1954,THINKING ANNIE’S WORK WAS DONE, SYD NATHAN RELEASED
SEXY WAYS BY THE MIDNIGHTERS WHILE BILLBOARD REPORTED,

”…Work With Me Annie still topping the r. & b. retail chart,…” and the following month, “The Midnighters, Federal’s hot r. & b. group, now have two records on the national r. & b. charts…
Sexy Ways and Work With Me Annie which has been up there for almost four months…”3

IT WASN’T UNTIL EIGHT MONTHS AFTER ANNIE’S DEBUT, (OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1954), BEFORE POP AND R & B FORMATTED RADIO STATIONS BANNED
WORK WITH ME ANNIE. AROUND THE SAME TIME , A HANDFUL OF DISC JOCKEYS WITH THE SAME MINDSET, ALSO SUPPORTED THE BAN.

WITHIN A MONTH IT WAS YESTERDAY’S NEWS. VOCAL POSTURING BY THE MANUFACTURERS, NOTWITHSTANDING, THE BEAT WENT ON. MUSIC CONTINUED BEING RECORDED, RELEASED AND PLAYED.

  1. Gart, Galen, The History of Rhythm & Blues, Vol. 4: 1954, Big Nickel Publications, Milford, New Hampshire, 1990, p. 44.
  2. ibid., p.50.
  3. ibid., p. 65, 72.