Many fans might not realize that Hammond went to school in Ohio. After attending Antioch College, in Greene County, on a scholarship for a year, he left to pursue a career as a blues musician.
We talked to John by phone to find out more.
Q: What can fans expect from your upcoming show?
A: "Well, I'm looking forward to it. It will be in Fairfield, and I'll be performing solo, playing what I've been doing for 55 years."
Q: You’ve become a legend at your craft. What do you attribute that to?
A: "I've always wanted to do what I'm doing. I got started when I was 19, professionally. Over the years, things have worked out very nicely for me in a lot of ways. I've had a chance to record often. I've had a chance to work with some amazing people. I've persisted, traveling all over the world. I'm a very happy guy."
Q: You have won countless awards. You’ve won a Grammy Award and you’ve been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, to name a few. Of your awards and accolades, is there one that is especially meaningful to you?
A: "I guess the Blues Hall of Fame induction was about as profound as (it gets) for what I do. I'm a blues singer, and to be acknowledged like that by the blues community was very humbling."
Q: Your father was also in the music business. Can you talk about the impact that had on you?
A: "My father, of course, was a very famous producer. He discovered a lot of the early jazz giants — Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Lester Young and Charlie Christian put a band together for Benny Goodman back in the day. He went on with his career to discover artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, and I could go on and on … I didn't grow up with my father, so I only saw him on occasion. I realized the significance of his work as I got older, but I don't really think he had an influence on me deciding to be a player."
Q: Tell us about your time in Ohio.
A: "I go way back in Ohio. I went to school in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and I've been playing shows in the state since 1961. I know Ohio pretty good."
Q: Did you grow up in Ohio?
A: "No I didn't, but I went to school there, and I have returned every year since."
Q: So, you probably have a pretty big fan base in Ohio?
A: "I don't know about that, but I know that I like Ohio."
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How to go
What: John Hammond in concert
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29
Where: Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield
Admission: For tickets call (513) 867-5348 or purchase online at www.fairfield-city.org/tickets. Tickets are $30 for orchestra seating and $25 for stadium seating.
Event info: www.fairfield-city.org/events
Artist info: www.johnhammond.com