John Hammond Biography

Music Producer, Civil Rights Activist (1910–1987)
Record producer John Hammond crusaded for racial integration in the music business, and is regarded as the most important nonmusician in the history of jazz.


John Hammond was born December 15, 1910, in New York City. In 1933 he produced a series of recordings with Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter and Benny Goodman. In the same year, he produced Bessie Smith's final recording and Billie Holiday's first. A lifelong crusader for integration in the music business, his last major discovery of the 1930s was pioneering electric guitarist Charlie Christian.

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