Ballin' Jack

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Ballin' Jack
Origin Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Rock
Jazz rock
Years active 1969–1974
Labels Columbia Records
Past members Ronnie Hammon
Luther Rabb
Jim Coile
Tim McFarland
Billy McPherson,
Glenn Thomas
Jim Walters,
King Errisson

Ballin' Jack was an American horn rock group formed in Seattle, Washington in 1969 by Luther Rabb (bass and vocals) and Ronnie Hammon (drums). They had a minor hit in 1970 with "Super Highway", which hit #90 on the Billboard Top 100.[1]


Rabb and Hammon were inspired by the success of their childhood friend, Jimi Hendrix. They added Glenn Thomas on guitar and, on the horns, were Jim Coile and Tim McFarland. They moved to Los Angeles, California and lived in a mansion home-studio near the Sunset Strip. Hendrix asked the group to come along with him on his 1970 "Cry Of Love" tour.

During 1969 - 1974 Ballin' Jack headlined up and down the West Coast. They went on nationwide US tours warming up for many of the bands at venues like the Fillmore East and West. They were on the bill of several large music festivals of the era. When they played the Troubadour in Los Angeles, in 1972, Billy Joel was the opening act.[2] Ballin' Jack also played in Japan, where they were well received.[3]

By 1975, the band had decided to break up.[4] Luther Rabb later toured with Santana and, both he and Ronnie Hammon, later joined War.

Their song "Found a Child" from their first album was featured on the Columbia Records sampler album Together!.

Several of their songs have been covered or sampled by other artists, including:

  • "Found a Child" - prominently sampled on the Grammy-winning 1989 rap hit, "Bust a Move" by Young MC.
  • "Found a Child" - covered by Funktuation on their EP "Talk" in 2005.[5]
  • "Found a Child" - covered by Cane And Able on their album "Cane And Able" in 1970.[6][7]
  • "Never Let 'Em Say" - sampled by The Beastie Boys in the rap song "Shadrach", from the 1989 album, Paul's Boutique.[8]
  • "Never Let 'Em Say" - sampled on the 1991 song "Step in the Arena" by Gang Starr[9][10]
  • "Never Let 'em Say" - sampled by Double X Posse in their hit 1992 single "Not Gonna Be Able To Do It"[11]


  • Luther Rabb (bass, vocals) (1942–2006)
  • Ronnie Hammon (drums)
  • Glenn Thomas (guitar, mandolin)
  • Jim Coile (sax, flute, clarinet)
  • Tim McFarland (trombone, piano, backing vocals (Sep. 20, 1945 - May 26, 2011)[citation needed] - nephew Patrick McFarland, daughter Heather McFarland
  • Jim Walters (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals) (deceased)
  • Billy McPherson (sax) (- Nov. 19, 2011)
  • King Errison (percussion, keyboards)




  • Found A Child / Never Let 'Em Say (Columbia, 1970, 4-45348)[16]
  • Super Highway / Only a Tear[17]
  • Hold On (Columbia, 1971, 4-45464)[18]
  • (Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need / (Come 'Round Here) I'm the One You Need (Columbia, 1972, 4-45698)[19][20]
  • Try To Relax / Thunder (Mercury, 1973, 73401)[21]
  • This Song / Sunday Morning (Columbia, 4-45464)[22][23]


A short instrumental song called "Little Bit of Feeling" or "A Little Bit of Feeling", with rock guitar chords and horns, is said to have been played by Ballin' Jack in at least one of their concerts in January 1972 that was broadcast live on KDEO radio station that month in San Diego, California. No known recording exists of this song, or any recording of that concert.[24]


  1. ^ - Artist: Ballin' Jack
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  3. ^ - Cruisin' The Super Highway... From Hendrix To Hip-Hop
  4. ^ Dancing - Luther Rabb - Songwriter, Musician & Vocalist
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  8. ^ - Artist: Ballin' Jack
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