Hammond Organ

The Hammond organ  is an electric organ, invented by Laurens Hammond and John M. Hanert and first manufactured in 1935.  Various models have been produced, most of which use sliding drawbars to create a variety of sounds.  Until 1975, Hammond organs generated sound by creating an electric current from rotating a metal tonewheel near an electromagnetic pickup.  Around two million Hammond organs have been manufactured, and it has been described as one of the most successful organs.  The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker.  (More from Wikipedia)
Al Kooper moved to Greenwich Village in 1965 and became part of the backing band for Bob Dylan, along with ace guitarist Mike Bloomfield.  That’s Kooper playing the signature Hammond Organ riffs on Dylan’s monster hit “Like a Rolling Stone” (and other songs on Highway 61 Revisited); the story is that the people in the studio were trying to put his organ in the background, but that it was Dylan himself who brought it out to the front of the mix.  
(September 2012)
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The Farfisa Organ is a quintessential 1960’s rock instrument; the Hammond Organ and the Vox Organ were also popular back then, but the Farfisa is the one that people think of it seems.  It’s probably that odd name (the company is Italian). 
(December 2012)
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Van Dyke Parks is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and was a musical prodigy.  He studied the clarinet and also did some work as a child actor; while in his teens, Parks appeared in Grace Kelly’s final film, The Swan (1958).  After graduating from college, he made some recordings for MGM Records in 1964 that included “Come to the Sunshine”; the touring band that he put together included a young Stephen Stills.  Primarily though, he worked behind the scenes, playing as a session musician with Sonny and Cher (before they even took that name) and Paul Revere and the Raiders under producer Terry Melcher.  His other early credits include playing Hammond Organ on the Byrds Fifth Dimension album and also keyboards for Judy Collins, plus arranging songs for Tim Buckley


(June 2013/2)


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February 19, 1965 marked the appearance of the third single (on Pye) by the Soul Agents, Don’t Break it Up b/w Gospel TrainGospel Train is a terrific instrumental anchored by Don Shinn’s Hammond Organ; the song was written by the band, specifically, Tony GoodJim SachDon Shinn, and Roger Pope


(May 2014)


Last edited: March 22, 2021