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The essential John Hammond biography

"The Producer: John Hammond and the Soul of American Music" is the ultimate guide to one of America's key figures in popular music, John Hammond.- The man who recognized and supported the talents of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen among many others at the earliest stage of their careers.

Author Dunstan Prial, a freelance journalist, builds his well written and carefully researched biography upon interviews with family members, friends and musicians. Dylan fans will particularly be interested in his account of signing Bob Dylan to Columbia Records, but there's much more of essential value in the book for anyone interested in music history. Hammond's journey was a constant search for distinct talent and personality, and it was his extraordinary love for music that made him find it in Dylan, Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Leonard Cohen, and many others.
Prial's book is a must-read for anyone interested in popular culture and music, especially for Bob Dylan fans.

"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan", produced by John Hammond (1963)


MIKE HOBO | November 13, 2007 | BOOKS


User comments

Press December 21, 2007
Good book, I read it last month on train back from NYC to Virginia. Really a history of recorded jazz and rock from point of view of a music lover who happened to put himself in a position to work with some of the greatest musicians ever. Interesting that Hammond didn't really "produce" in the sense of telling the players what to do -- he mostly read newspapers and magazines during the recording sessions. I highly recommend this book.

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