Hammond Organs

Ryo Okumoto began his professional musical career as a keyboardist during the height of the electronic musical instrument boom of the 1970s.  The synthesizer was growing nearly every month and new sounds were being created at nearly every NAMM Show, an opportunity Ryo-san took full advantage of as...
Bob Olsen often said because he did not play a musical instrument yet had a successful career in the music products industry that he was “a vegetarian in the business of prime meat.” The fact is Bob became very passionate about the music companies he worked for, beginning with Hammond Organ and...
Jerry Olson purchased a small music store in the early 1950s after teaching along-side his wife in their home town.  Soon the store grew and other locations throughout Minnesota were established, all using the name The Music Store.  Their location in Willmar was at one point the third largest store...
Houston Person, after a 3-year old musical partnership with the great vocalist Etta Jones, is only now receiving the recognition he deserves as one of today’s leading instrumentalists in the tradition of Gene Ammons and Stanley Turrentine. Since Etta’s passing, Houston has concentrated on working...
Jack Ripperger was the director of marketing for the Hammond Organ Company for seven years, at the height of the home organ boom in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. During his time in the industry Jack played a vital role in increasing the promotion of African-American musicians who...
Scott Russ grew up in the music business, crawling around the floor.  His parents opened a music retail store in 1947, before Scott was born.  Growing up, Scott fell in love with the Hammond Organ and the daughter of Bob Seidman, the founder of the wholesaler Seidman Sales.  Both loves followed him...
Robert Schaeffer is the resident historian for Rice Music House in South Carolina.  Having been in the store since he was a young boy, getting to meet with the founder and having worked in the store for several years, he fits the bill.  As much as he knows the history, Robert walks and talks the...
Dr. Lonnie Smith is among the well respected organists, who demonstrate instruments for fellow musicians. Dr. Lonnie has been a regular performer at the NAMM Shows since the 1960s. He was born in Lackawanna, New York, and soon joined his singing family on the radio performing everything from gospel...
Fujio Suzuki was the president of the Suzuki Musical Instrument Company in Japan in 2003 when the NAMM Foundation’s  Museum of Making Music celebrated the launching of the new Hammond-Suzuki B-3. Fujio Suzuki took the stage alongside the president of the United States office of Suzuki and legendary...

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