James Brown and the Hammond Organ
What is it about the Hammond Organ that had such a profound hold on the Godfather of Soul?
“The Hammond electrified faith, and it electrified the faithful, too, because it had a way of projecting its fervor out onto the streets of America. People took the crazy feelings the Hammond unlocked and blasted them past the church into the rec room, the jazz club, the honky-tonk. A whole bunch of new feelings, mixing sacred spaces and public places.” – RJ Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, April 2018
How could I say it better?
I am always awed by the history and stories that radiate from the objects at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and being able to take this image to accompany RJ Smith’s fascinating piece about the Hammond Organ and James Brown was as great as you’d imagine.
Photographed for Smithsonian magazine