Smith, John Robert [Johnny Hammond](born: 1931 - died: 1997)
John Robert Smith, born in Louisville, KY, was an organist who also played piano and acoustic piano, electronic keyboard and synthesizers. Smith was also a song writer. He left Kentucky to begin his career in Cleveland, OH, and after performing on the Hammond organ, he used the name Johnny Hammond Smith. He performed under this name while an accompanist with Nancy Wilson. In the 1950s he moved to New York, where he had his own group and recorded with other bands. In 1971, he performed on keyboards under the name Johnny Hammond. When he returned to playing the Hammond organ and recorded with Hank Crawford and Dan Papaila, he resumed using the name Johnny Hammond Smith. He is recognized as an organist who promoted the Hammond organ in soul and jazz music, and as a renowned Hammond B-3 organist. John Robert Smith died in California, where he had been teaching music at Cal Poly Pomona [California State Polytechnic University, Pomona].
For more see "Johnny Hammond" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and in The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. For an extensive list of recordings see Johnny Hammond, a Discogs website.