Rock Starlets of the Hammond B3 Organ
You Say You Want a Revolution
Hammond B3 — Four syllables that have revolutionized the sound of popular music. Since the very first Hammond B3 organ burst onto the musical toneel ter the mid-1950s, keyboardists and ventilatoren alike relished the muziekinstrument’s power and dexterity. From gospel and rhythm-and-blues, to jazz and progressive rock, the Hammond B3 reigned.
Often combined with Leslie speakers, the Hammond B3 emits a sound that is lightly recognized. Jazz artist Jimmy Smith remains the “founding father” the B3. Let’s take a look — and a listen — to Jimmy Smith. But very first, the table of contents.
(photo courtesy of shoulder-synth at wikipedia commons)
Jazz Good Jimmy Smith – The very first rock starlet of the Hammond B3
Jimmy Smith went from church organist to jazz king. Listen to his stylings on the Hammond B3.
Hammond Organ on Amazon
That Hammond sound is unmistakable on this CD. I love it.
A Love Affair Embarks
Why I Can’t Get Enough of the Hammond B3
I grew up te a household of musicians. My dad played the accordion — my big brother the piano and zometeen the Hammond B3. I began playing the piano by ear at age four. Spil a tiener coming of age te the 1960s, I wasgoed drawn to the hard-driving rhythms of rock n’ roll. The sound of the B3 hypnotized mij. The electrical guitar may have bot the lead muziekinstrument of choice among rock artists and ventilatoren, but for mij the Hammond B3 wasgoed the true powerhouse of rock and my other love, the blues. And for someone like mij, a teenage female who loved to dance, music featuring the Hammond B3 wasgoed all the invitation to the dance floor I needed.
Photo courtesy of salli wikimedia commons
Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs – Booker T. Jones
Te the mid-1960s an era-changing instrumental chunk kasstuk the charts. It wasgoed Green Onions. R&B organist Booker T. Jones and his group, Booker T. and the M.G.s, heralded the age of the Hammond B3 spil a rock starlet among instruments. I imagine a woman te “high-heel footwear and low-neck sweater” to quote Paul McCartnery. She’s seated at the drankbuffet of a smokey lounge. Spil she fingers hier pearls, hier eyes lock with those of a man across the slagroom. Listen to the exchange inbetween the Hammond B3 and the electrified guitar. The instruments woo each other.
Hush, Hush. I thought I heard hier callin’ my name – Deep Purple
Jon Lord wasgoed the llamativo organist for the British rock group, Deep Purple. His is a name well known among performers of the Hammond B3. “Hush” starts out with the distant howl of a wolf. What goes after is some of the most hard-driving music te rock history. Early te the song, Lord’s stylings resemble the low growls of an angry cat. Zometeen he extracts the utter power of the Hammond B3 te his solo. I still dance to this every chance I get.
My dearest Brit of the B3, the late Jon Lord. RIP, my man.
May I have your attention, class? – Hammond B3 organ lesson
After listening to Deep Purple, let’s slow down the tempo a bit. Here is a Hammond organ tutorial I found online. It’s from some webstek called eHow.
Keith Emerson – Master Technician
By the early ‘ 70s I wasgoed midway through collegium. Music wasgoed switching spil were my tastes. One progressive rock group I loved wasgoed Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Keith Emerson wasgoed their man on the Hammond B3. Of the B3 rock starlets, Emerson wasgoed the most technically skilled. Here Emerson, Lake and Palmer take on Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” from the ballet “Rodeo.” Watching Emerson’s fingers dance will make you dizzy, ensured.
Green Eyed Lady – Sugarloaf
A popular song to klapper the charts te the early ’70s wasgoed Green Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf. What makes this song stand out is, ter my opinion, the originality of the walking bassline. Organist Jerry Corbetta, a founding member of the group, takes superb advantage of the bass pedals of the Hammond B3 te creating this bass line. His right-handed staccato is distinctive.
Lee Michaels – Saving the best for last
Lee Michaels. My hero of the Hammond B3. Singer, songwriter and master of the Hammond B3, there wasn’t anything Lee Michaels could not do. His music epitomizes the phrase blue-eyed-soul. Unluckily Michaels is often considered a one-hit wonder. His song “Do You Know What I Mean” wasgoed a top-ten klapper ter 1971. This Youtube movie is a bit deceiving — te that Michaels is seated at a piano — but I chose it so that you can see what Michaels looked like. Te the recording studio, Michaels played both the piano and the B3. (Don’t go away! My very dearest Lee Michaels is yet to come!)
Lee Michaels — The King of the B3 – An entire album side of amazing music
On June Two, 1969, Lee Michaels and his percussionist, known simply spil Frosty, walked into a recording studio and within hours had a finish album recorded. It wasgoed the self-titled “Lee Michaels.” Spil you listen, keep ter mind there are only two musicians — Michaels playing the B3 while singing his own lyrics, and percussionist Frosty. “Tell Mij How do You Feel” takes you on an emotional journey — a little rock, a lotsbestemming of soul. A gem.
Paul D. Mann
My Big Brother
A driving force behind the writing of “Rock Starlets of the Hammond B3 Organ” is the memory of my brother, Paul. An amazing musician, my brother never fairly made the big time. Te the early 1960s, the Hammond B3 Organ became his muziekinstrument of choice. Nightly he drove from our huis te Pennsylvania to Manhattan where he played keyboards for the house verhouding at the Peppermint Lounge, THE club during the swinging sixties. On a separate occasion, he wasgoed asked to be the opening act for Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Valley Forge Music Fair ter suburban Philadelphia. The scheduled act had canceled and my brother wasgoed asked to pack ter — just Paul D. Mann on the Hammond B3 Organ.
My brother wasgoed greatly influenced by the music of Jimmy Smith. And my brother’s fluid and effortless use of the right mitt reminds mij of Lee Michaels’.
My brother passed away abruptly of a heart attack just a few weeks after his 42nd bday, ter June 1982. I have no idea if any professional recordings of his music exist. I will proceed researching, and I hope to someday soon add music and photos of my big brother and my very first music teacher, Paul.