- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (February 26, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140057056
- ISBN-13: 978-0140057058
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,598,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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John Hammond on Record: An Autobiography Paperback – February 1, 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
John Hammond built a long career as a "talent scout" and producer out of his personal passion for African-American music. When we say he "discovered talent", what we really mean is he had the influence to turn white audiences on to the talent hidden in Harlem and the Mississippi Delta. From Robert Johnson and Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen...imagine the span of the generations...John Hammond persistently hunted for the best unrecognized musicians and brought them to the attention of Columbia Records, Carnegie Hall, and the various media that could make mainstream America pay attention.
John Hammond, a well-motivated giant, had his imperfections. He may have been obsessive to the exclusion of ones he loved. His assumptions about "pure" Blues and Jazz may have been rigid. Indeed he offended some who deserved his respect. But what he did for Blues, Jazz, and Rock & Roll is so significant it's no exaggeration to say his cultural influence was heroic.
This book is an amazing journey through the broad landscape of America's modern musical history. Told by the one person who had the most influence over what USAmericans listen to today.
Hammond's stories about these and other musicians would be enough for me, but I also appreciated his telling about his causes for racial equality. His concern and commitment in racial matters nearly equals that of his music pursuits. As a music teacher myself, I have seen over and over how music plays a vital part of social change. In that regard, Hammond knew what he was doing and certainly affected the breakdown of racial barriers.
Information about his personal life is also discussed. It was evenly presented, and he did not "dish" any solicitous dirt like many show business related autobiographies. He alludes to some personal and professional friction with certain people, but in my mind he took the high road and did not use the opportunity to "trash" anybody.
To me, few people have been able to effect pop music like John Hammond. It's hard to imagine our music heritage without one of his findings. In today's field of music entertainment there seems to be little desire to develop talent. Everybody is chasing the next hit or chart position. Unfortunately, music has become a disposable commodity. The true test will be time; as the years accumulate we'll see as a culture who we still listen to and/or use as musical touch points.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good service, but why couldn't the seller post it to me in London? The book itself is extremely interesting.My son brought it over to me in England. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. M. Thorn
The colleague/editor could have tightened the apparently dictated prose. Hammond was a good man, a great friend of jazz and a writer of standard ability.Published on October 1, 2013 by filmart_dd