John Hammond

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Ahmet Ertegun
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award
John Hammond


He didn’t just change the industry—he changed the world.

Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, these are just a few of the celebrated acts that John Hammond signed to Columbia Records. Furthermore, he played a critical role in integrating the music industry.

Hall of Fame Essay


Legendary talent scout John Hammond discovered some of the greatest talents in jazz, folk, blues and rock and roll during his 54-year association with Columbia Records.

On the jazz and blues side, he played a major role in launching the careers of Billie Holiday, Count Basie and Aretha Franklin. Among rock and roll fans, he will no doubt be best remembered for signing Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

The Program Cover from the 1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
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