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Episode #735 – The Midnighters, Pt. 3 – The Annie Songs

Air Week: June 3-9, 2024

The Midnighters, Pt. 3 – The Annie Songs

This week, the “Juke In The Back” continues a 3 show look at The Midnighters, one of early R&B’s most successful groups. Before they topped the R&B charts with “Work With Me Annie” in 1954, The Midnighters were known as The Royals, a rough and ready group from the east side of Detroit. Charles Sutton, the Royal’s first great lead singer, shaped their early recordings (1952-53) in the style of The Orioles’ leader Sonny Til. In part 3, the “Annie” songs take the spotlight as we build off the Midnighters’ “Annie” trilogy to the flood of answer records and sequel songs that emerged in “Work With Me Annie”‘s wake. Most of the hit “Annie” follow-ups were done by The Midnighters themselves, like “Annie Had A Baby” and “Annie’s Aunt Fannie,” but there were some notable “Annie” songs by The El Dorados, Linda Hayes, Danny Taylor and of course the “Henry” songs by a very young Etta James. It may sound odd now, but from 1954-56, the R&B juke boxes were jumpin’ to songs about “Annie,” “Henry” and their crazy situations. Matt The Cat puts this R&B fad front and center as we close up our 3 week look at the impact of The Midnighters on Rhythm & Blues and early Rock n’ Roll. 


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