A Little Homage to the Hammond Organ

The Hammond organ is one of my favorite instruments that was made for rock music.

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The sound of a Hammond organ regularly gives me the goose bumps. I’ve always thought it’s one of greatest instruments that was made for rock music. So I did a bit of research on the web to inform this post.

It turns out this terrific electric organ was invented by Laurens Hammond and John Hanert and first manufactured all the way back in 1935. Obviously, rock music had not been born yet. Initially, the Hammond was used in churches and later on in jazz music. In the 1960s and 70s it found its way into R&B, rock and reggae. The rest is history.

Perhaps one of the coolest examples of how to make a Hammond an integral part of rock music is Deep Purple. Jon Lord was an absolute genius and possibly the best rock keyboarder ever. His fusion of rock with classical elements was pioneering. He also demonstrated how the Hammond could become an equal lead instrument to the electric guitar.

And while I’m on the subject, why not throw in a list of some my favorite rock songs featuring a Hammond in no particular order:

  • Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group)
  • Whipping Post (The Allman Brothers Band)
  • Child in Time (Deep Purple)
  • Light My Fire (The Doors)
  • The House of the Rising Sun (The Animals)
  • Jingo (Santana)
  • A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum)
  • With a Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)
  • Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)
  • That’s the Way God Planned It (Billy Preston)

BTW, the guy in the photo is the great Steve Winwood playing the legendary Hammond B3.

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