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

Johnny Hammond - Have You Heard Johnny Smith album art Johnny Smith* Have You Heard Johnny Smith Arrow Records (7), Arrow Records (7) US 1958 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - That Good Feelin' album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* That Good Feelin' (Album) New Jazz US 1959 Sell This Version
8221 Johnny Hammond - All Soul album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* All Soul(LP) New Jazz 8221 US 1959 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Talk That Talk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Talk That Talk (Album) New Jazz, New Jazz US 1960 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Stimulation album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Stimulation (Album) Prestige US 1961 Sell This Version
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 US 1961 Sell This Version
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 US 1962 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Mr. Wonderful album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Mr. Wonderful Riverside Records US 1963 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Look Out album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Seldon Powell Johnny "Hammond" Smith* With Seldon Powell - Look Out (Album) Prestige, New Jazz US 1963 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Black Coffee album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Black Coffee (Album) Riverside Records US 1963 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - The Stinger album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* The Stinger (Album) Prestige US 1965 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Open House! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Open House! (Album) Riverside Records US 1966 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Opus De Funk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Opus De Funk (Album) Prestige 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
Johnny Hammond - A Little Taste album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* A Little Taste (Album) Riverside Records US 1967 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Love Potion #9 album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Love Potion #9 (Album) Prestige, Prestige US 1967 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Dirty Grape album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Dirty Grape (Album) Prestige US 1968 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Ebb Tide album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Ebb Tide (Album) Prestige, MPS Prestige US 1967 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Nasty! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Nasty! (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige US 1968 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Soul Flowers album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Soul Flowers (Album) Prestige US 1968 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Soul Talk album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Soul Talk (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige US 1969 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Black Feeling! album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Black Feeling! (Album) Prestige US 1970 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Here It 'Tis album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* Here It 'Tis (Album) Prestige, Prestige, Prestige US 1970 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - What's Going On album art Johnny "Hammond" Smith* What's Going On (Album) Prestige US 1971 Sell This Version
Johnny Hammond - Breakout album art Johnny Hammond Breakout (Album) Kudu Japan 1971 Sell This Version