Personalities | John Hammond | Thirties | Jazz & Blues
(Critic, producer, 1910–86)
John Hammond was the most influential jazz critic, producer and social activist of the politically charged 1930s. A Vanderbilt descendant raised in social prominence and luxury on New York’s East Side, Hammond rebelled against his class, producing jazz records and pressing for racial integration. He played a key role in the careers of Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and Charlie Christian – bringing them together on occasions – and later Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
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