I’ve always been interested in the background players of the music industry. John Hammond, most recently the subject of the new Guinness Made Of More ad campaign, is one such somewhat under-appreciated influencer.
As a producer, critic, A&R scout and label man, Hammond was instrumental in the establishment of careers of some serious music legends: from American ’30s jazz to the folk scene of the 50s and 60s to rock’n’roll royalty like Bruce Springsteen who even today can sell out two Croke Park concerts in Dublin in under two hours. Bob Dylan, Arthur Russell, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Aretha Franklin, Pete Seeger and Leonard Cohen are among those who benefited from Hammond’s belief and patronage.
On this Spotify playlist, it’s plain to hear really quite incredible how many musicians Hammond was involved with in his career: