John Robert Smith, better known as Johnny ‘Hammond’ Smith, was a soul Jazz and Hard Bop organist. Born in Louisville, Kentucky on December 16, 1933, Smith was a renowned player of the Hammond B-3 organ. This position established his nickname of ‘Hammond’ which also prevented confusion with being Jazz guitarist Johnny Smith. He signed to Creed Taylor’s reputable CTI Records Jazz record label in 1971. During the 70s, Hammond’s style of music changed more into funk as he began using electric and acoustic pianos. He released several albums from 1959- 1978 with a discography containing 34 albums total. In January 1987, he began teaching at the Cal Poly Pomona music department for several years after. His career reached a new height while serving as an accompanist to singer Nancy Wilson. He wrote ‘Quiet Fire’ and ‘Nancy Now’ for her which was released in 1989. Johnny ‘Hammond’ Smith passed away on June 4, 1997.
To continue on with Black History awareness during Black History Month, I decided to go with a theme for the Time Warp posts where I could incorporate that. SAMPLES! Throughout this month, the Time Warp theme will be sampled songs from our artists/bands or with information on the genre all pertaining to our history. I have some serious gems lined up for you all. Here's the first one to kick off for the month: Currensy x Big Krit x Smoke Dza 'Skybourne' sample... "Can't We Smile" by. Johnny Hammond.