Hammond Organ Launches Hall of Fame, Inducts 1st Members

26 musicians make the cut on company’s 80th anniversary

Jimmy Smith
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Joey DeFrancesco at Redding's in Atlantic City
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Hammond USA, in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Hammond Organ Company, has announced its 2014 Hammond Hall of Fame inductees. The 26 honorees includes Al Kooper, Shirley Scott, Larry Young, Billy Preston, Booker T, Brian Auger, Milt Herth, Chester Thompson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ethel Smith, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Felix Cavaliere, Gregg 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 inaugural inductees represent many different genres, covering the 1940s to today.

The list was compiled by a selection committee comprising Hammond executives, Hammond artists and prominent journalists. (JazzTimes editor Evan Haga was among the committee members.) A fan-based campaign on Facebook was also mounted. In subsequent years, up to 10 artists will be added each year. According to a press release, “Along with the players, those who have made significant non-artistic contributions to the Hammond will be recognized with the Laurens Hammond Award.”

Living members who are able to attend will be celebrated at a special event and commemorative concert at the Hilton Hotel in Anaheim California during the NAMM show on January 24.

The Hammond Hall Of Fame and roster of Laurens Hammond Award winners can be found on a special page on www.hammondorganco.com in January 2014.