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Hank Ballard & The Midnighters: From The Sins Of Annie To The Twist

Nick Tosches, Creem, March 1983

IT WAS TOWARDS the end of 1951 that Johnny Otis (born John Veliotes; he found it gainful to pass as black), the 30-year-old Savoy recording star who also worked as a talent scout for King Records of Cincinnati, came upon a group called the Royals at a talent show at the Paradise Theatre in Detroit. Through Otis, the four-man group — Henry Booth, Sonny Woods, lead singer Charles Sutton, and guitarist Alonzo Tucker — were signed by King boss Syd Nathan, and in January 1952 the Royals began recording for King's sister R&B label Federal.

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