To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Hammond Organ Company, Hammond USA and Keyboard magazine today announce the inaugural Hammond Hall of Fame inductees. The Freshman Class of 2014 recognizes the pioneers, innovators, and trailblazers who all have the “King of Instruments” in common. The list of the 26 honorees includes: Al Kooper, Shirley Scott, Larry Young, Billy Preston, Booker T. Jones, Brian Auger, Milt Herth, Chester Thompson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ethel Smith, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Felix Cavaliere, Greg Allman, Gregg Rolie, Jesse Crawford, Jimmy McGriff, Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Jon Lord, Keith Emerson, Barbara Dennerlein, Eddie Layton, Porter Heaps, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Steve Winwood, and Twinkie Clark. The Freshman Class contains musicians of many different musical styles genres, reaching back to the 1940s and continuing through to the present day.
The compilation of the list was a team effort, the selection committee comprised of Hammond executives, top Hammond artists, and prominent music journalists. To act as an advisory board, a fan-based campaign on Facebook was mounted. Listeners’ voices came through loud and clear, helping the team to select the first-ever Hammond Hall of Fame and providing a benchmark for future nominees. Going forward, up to ten artists will be added each year. Along with the players, those who have made significant technological and other contributions to the Hammond organ’s legacy will be recognized with the Laurens Hammond Award. The first year’s round will lead with a posthumous accolade to Don Leslie, inventor of the rotary speaker that has become a vital and inseparable part of the Hammond Organ’s sonic identity.
The criteria for induction were based on the Hammond slogan: “The Sound, The Soul, The One”. “The Sound” signifies that the candidate must have an immediately recognizable musical style that has become influential over time. “The Soul” signifies that the candidate must have integrated their use of the Hammond Organ in a unique way into whatever genre they represent. “The One” signifies that the candidate should be primarily noted as a Hammond organist as contrasted with a pianist or other instrumentalist.
Inductees will be celebrated at a special event and commemorative concert at the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, California during the NAMM show on Friday, January 24th, 2014. Keyboard magazine’s editor in chief, Stephen Fortner, will serve as master of ceremonies.
The Hammond Hall Of Fame and roster of Laurens Hammond Award winners can be found HERE.