Clear Lake’s 1957 Hammond B3 and Leslie 122

The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond and John M Hanert and first manufactured in 1935. Various models were produced, most of which used sliding drawbars to create a variety of sounds. The B3 at Clear Lake was manufactured in 1957, one of the most sought after year models.The B3 generates its sound by creating an electric current from rotating a metal tone wheel near an electromagnetic pickup. Around two million Hammond organs have been manufactured, and it has been described as one of the most successful organs ever. The organ is commonly used with, and associated with, the Leslie speaker of which Clear Lake owns the rare model 122rv.

The organ was originally marketed and sold by the Hammond Organ Company to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, and as an alternative to the piano. It quickly became popular with professional jazz musicians, who found it to be a cheaper alternative to the big band. Jimmy Smith’s use of the Hammond B-3, with its additional harmonic percussion feature, inspired a generation of organ players, and its use became more widespread in the 1960s and 1970s in rhythm and blues, rock and reggae, as well as being an important instrument in progressive rock.

Today, the Hammond B3 can be heard on countless modern recordings as it provides excellent harmonic content to fill out arrangements in many different musical styles. From rock, pop, country, gospel, r&b, and jazz; The Hammond B3 is often an excellent compliment to your arrangement.


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