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Hammond USA Announces it’s Hall of Fame

23 Dec

A special celebration and concert for the living members of the freshman class will be held during the NAMM show in Anaheim, California on January 24, 2014.

Visit next month for more details and a special webpage devoted to the Hall of Fame.

Ride, Glide, Slide — HD POV — Unfreakin’ Believable!

1 Mar

Left-Handed Blues

22 Apr

When it comes to the blues, that lonesome road takes a sharp left turn.

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Beatles, Stones, Bach, Coltrane?

13 Sep

Imagine you were given the chance to go back in time and witness four musical events (one each from jazz, blues, classical, and rock history.) What would they be?

I asked this question to Derek Trucks, Rhoda Scott & Randall Bramblett, you can read their responses in my new All About Jazz article: A Question of Time

Remembering the Musical Magic of 1966 with Video & Background

17 Aug
Magical Musical Moments of 1966

Magical Musical Moments of 1966

The year 1966 was a big one for the Beatles, the Stones, the Sinatra family, the Beach Boy, the Supremes,  Lovin’ Spoonful, and Donovan

Frank Sinatra, Strangers in the Night (no 1966 clip was available, this was about 15 years later.)  The star of the 40’s had the year’s biggest hit, and hit gold again with “That’s Life.”  His daughter Nancy had the 2nd biggest hit with “These Boots are Made for Walkin'”

Beach Boys, Good Vibrations was in 4th place after the Beatles “Yellow Submarine.”

The Beatles, Paperback Writer was 5th for the year.

Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

“The Sounds of Silence is the song that propelled the 1960s folk music duo Simon and Garfunkel to popularity. It was written on February 19, 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Simon conceived of the song as a way of capturing the emotional trauma felt by many Americans. Continue reading

Hammond B3 Hall of Fame

11 Sep

UPDATE Dec. 23, 2013  Watch the video above to learn about the freshman class of the Hammond Hall of Fame, just announced by the Hammond Organ Company USA. I put together this playlist for you guys so you can see the freshman class in action (unfortunately there isn’t video of a few of the early players, but thankfully  you can watch clips of most of the inductees.)

The post below is now almost 7 years old, and is focused primarily on jazz B3 players.  The official Hammond Hall of Fame represents many different musical genres.  Special congratulations to Gregg Allman and Barbara Dennerlein who have been supporters of

In Glen Nelson’s history of the Hammond Organ he writes:

“To get a B-3 to a gig, you would probably need a truck or a van to transport it, a dolly or three to four guys to carry it, and then a prayer that you didn’t have to carry it up too many flights of stairs. Why, you must be wondering, would any sane musician want to take this piece of furniture with them out to a gig? If you have ever heard a good B-3, you would understand. A Hammond B-3 can all at once sound like a carnival, a big band, a horn section, a small jazz combo, a funk group, a percussion section, a flute, and/or countless other things. How does one instrument manage to do all this? “

To find out the answer, read his very thorough yet concise article.

The history of organ jazz begins with Fats Waller, the son of a Baptist minister, who played church organ before playing piano. During the silent film era he was a theatre organist in New York. Fats also taught Count Basie how to play the organ and he probably had the first recording featuring an electric Hammond organ.

Fats also played and recorded on pipe organ. In fact, in Paris he played the organ at Notre Dame and in London at the Abbey Road Studio he recorded spirituals on the Compton Theatre organ.


Then came the next major figure, Wild Bill Davis, who may have had the first jazz organ trio, and was known for his “fat” chords.

And then came Jimmy Smith whose magic right hand and approach to soloing changed everything. He was a great showman and soloist with superior musical instincts, and his contribution to organ jazz can hardly be overemphasized.

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