Johnny Hammond

Real Name:
John Robert Smith
Profile:
American organist, composer, artist.

Born: 16 December 1933 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Died: 4 June 1997 in Victorville, California, USA (aged 63).

Smith became known as Johnny 'Hammond' Smith in the mid-1950s as he emerged as an organ player, to avoid confusion with the guitarist John Smith, and the more famous organist Jimmy Smith. He dropped the Smith part of his name when he signed for the Kudu label in 1971.

Smith played with Paul Williams and Chris Columbo before forming his own group. His bands featured singers Etta Jones, Byrdie Green, saxophonists Houston Person, Earl Edwards, guitarists Eddie McFadden, Floyd Smith, James Clark, vibist Freddie McCoy. His career took off as he was serving as accompanist to singer Nancy Wilson. One of his last accomplishments also included Nancy Wilson. He wrote the song "Quiet Fire" for her "Nancy Now" release in 1989.

After a 10-year spell on Prestige Records throughout the 60s resulting in a series of albums, he signed for soul/R&B influenced Kudu imprint of the well-regarded CTI Records label in 1971. His first album for CTI, "Breakout" was chosen that year to launch Kudu. The album featured Grover Washington Jr. as a sideman prior to the launch of his career as a solo recording artist. Three further albums followed on Kudu, as he decided to refer to himself as "Johnny Hammond", after deciding to drop "Smith" from his name.

His style had become increasingly funky as he adapted to the style changes in music, culminating in two popular albums with the Mizell Brothers, "Gambler's Life" (1974) for the CTI offshoot, Salvation Records (US) and then in 1975, "Gears" after switching to another jazz label, Milestone Records. He began using electric and acoustic pianos, starting with "Gambler's Life", in addition to his signature instrument. Hammond's song "Shifting Gears" was featured on the breakbeat compilation Ultimate Breaks and Beats, and was also featured in the soundtrack of the 2006 video game Driver: Parallel Lines as well.

Smith also taught at the Cal Poly Pomona music department for several years, beginning in January 1987.
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Albums

ALP-1200, LP 1200 Johnny Hammond - Have You Heard Johnny Smith album art Johnny Smith* Have You Heard Johnny Smith Arrow Records (7), Arrow Records (7) ALP-1200, LP 1200 US 1958 Sell This Version
8229 Johnny Hammond - That Good Feelin' album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* That Good Feelin' (Album) New Jazz 8229 US 1959 Sell This Version
8221 Johnny Hammond - All Soul album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* All Soul (Album) New Jazz 8221 US 1959 Sell This Version
8241, NJLP 8241 Johnny Hammond - Talk That Talk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Talk That Talk (Album) New Jazz, New Jazz 8241, NJLP 8241 US 1960 Sell This Version
PR 7203 Johnny Hammond - Stimulation album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Stimulation (Album) Prestige PR 7203 US 1961 Sell This Version
PR 7217, PRST 7217 Johnny Hammond - Gettin' The Message album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Lem Winchester Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Lem Winchester - Gettin' The Message (Album) Prestige, Prestige PR 7217, PRST 7217 US 1961 Sell This Version
PR 7239 Johnny Hammond - Johnny "Hammond" Smith Cooks With Gator Tail album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* & Willis Jackson Johnny "Hammond" Smith* & Willis Jackson - Johnny "Hammond" Smith Cooks With Gator Tail (Album) Prestige, Prestige PR 7239 US 1962 Sell This Version
RM 466 Johnny Hammond - Mr. Wonderful album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Mr. Wonderful Riverside Records RM 466 US 1963 Sell This Version
NJ 8288 Johnny Hammond - Look Out album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Seldon Powell Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Seldon Powell - Look Out (Album) Prestige, New Jazz NJ 8288 US 1963 Sell This Version
SR 7079 Johnny Hammond - Black Coffee album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Black Coffee (Album) Riverside Records SR 7079 Japan 1963 Sell This Version
PRS 7408 Johnny Hammond - The Stinger album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* The Stinger (Album) Prestige PRS 7408 US 1965 Sell This Version
RM 482 Johnny Hammond - Open House! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Open House! (Album) Riverside Records RM 482 US 1966 Sell This Version
PR 7420 Johnny Hammond - Opus De Funk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Opus De Funk (Album) Prestige PR 7420 US 1966 Sell This Version
PR 7464 Johnny Hammond - The Stinger Meets The Golden Thrush album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Byrdie Green Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Byrdie Green - The Stinger Meets The Golden Thrush(LP, Album, Mono) Prestige PR 7464 US 1966 Sell This Version
PR 7482 Johnny Hammond - Love Potion #9 album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Love Potion #9 (Album) Prestige, Prestige PR 7482 US 1967 Sell This Version
7494 Johnny Hammond - Gettin' Up album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Gettin' Up (Album) Prestige 7494 US 1967 Sell This Version
RS 9496 Johnny Hammond - A Little Taste album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* A Little Taste (Album) Riverside Records RS 9496 US 1967 Sell This Version
PR 7588, 7588, PRST 7588 Johnny Hammond - Nasty! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Nasty! (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige PR 7588, 7588, PRST 7588 US 1968 Sell This Version
PR 7549 Johnny Hammond - Soul Flowers album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Soul Flowers (Album) Prestige PR 7549 US 1968 Sell This Version
PR 7564 Johnny Hammond - Dirty Grape album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Dirty Grape (Album) Prestige, Prestige PR 7564 US 1968 Sell This Version
PR 7681, PRST 7681, 7681 Johnny Hammond - Soul Talk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Soul Talk (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige PR 7681, PRST 7681, 7681 US 1969 Sell This Version
10002, PR 10002, PRST 10002 Johnny Hammond - Here It 'Tis album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Here It 'Tis (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige 10002, PR 10002, PRST 10002 US 1970 Sell This Version
PR 7736, PRST 7736 Johnny Hammond - Black Feeling! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Black Feeling! (Album) Prestige, Prestige PR 7736, PRST 7736 US 1970 Sell This Version
PR 10015, PRST-10015 Johnny Hammond - What's Going On album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* What's Going On (Album) Prestige PR 10015, PRST-10015 US 1971 Sell This Version
SR 3315 Johnny Hammond - Breakout album art Johnny Hammond Breakout (Album) Kudu SR 3315 Japan 1971 Sell This Version