Air Week: May 20-26, 2024

The Midnighters, Pt. 1 – 1952-54 (The Royals)

This week, the “Juke In The Back” begins 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. That influence resulted in the recording of some amazing vocal group records, including the immortal “Moonrise” from 1952. Matt The Cat explores the Royals great early sides, their lineup changes (Hank Ballard joined in 1953) and their legal battles. In part 2, we’ll fill the “Juke In The Back” with The Midnights prime, non-Annie records and then in part 3, it’s an Annie bonanza of answer records, prequels and sequels. So grab your nickel and get ready to jump, jive and wail!