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John Hammond
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Music Producer
    He was christened John Henry Hammond, Jr., even though both his father and grandfather had the same name, making him a ‘III’ instead of a ‘Jr.’
    His first marriage broke up over his workaholic habits.
    As a critic, he would enthusiastically review the albums he had produced.
    He said the biggest mistake of his career was failing to sign Ella Fitzgerald after she won an amateur talent contest.
    He has been called the greatest talent scout in music history.
    He paid for many jazz recording sessions out of his own pocket.
    He convinced Benny Goodman to add black musicians to his band, including Teddy Wilson, Charlie Christian, and Lionel Hampton.
    Pete Seeger said, ‘Jazz became integrated ten years before baseball largely because of John Hammond.’
    He was a member of the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986).

Credit: C. Fishel

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