(September 17, 2020) We are sad to report the death of Southern Soul legend Roy C. Hammond, known to music fans as Roy C. Best known for his 1965 hit, “Shotgun Wedding,” Hammond had a long and fruitful career. He was 81.
The Georgia-born Hammond began his career in the late 50s as a member of the group The Genies, which charted with the moderate hit “Who’s That Knockin’.” But he then embarked on a solo career, and came out of the box strongly with “Shotgun Wedding,” an international Top 20 hit. While it was his biggest hit, it was not his last, as he charted for another decade and a half on several labels with such hits as “Got To Get Enough” and “Don’t Blame the Man,” and his albums of the time were known for their frank lyrics that touched on both social and sexual topics.
Hammond’s song, “Impeach the President,” which was aimed at Richard Nixon, had a second life when it was sampled by MC Shan for the 1985 hit, “The Bridge.” What followed was a series of hip-hop and R&B songs (including Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love”) that also sampled Hammond songs, making him one of the most sampled artists of the 90s and 00s.
Hammond continued to record and work with other artists into the new millennium, and maintained a small but loyal following for his brand of Southern Soul music. Though his name was not familiar to many soul music fans, virtually all have heard his music, either in its original form or as a sampled backdrop for dozens of other artists. Rest in Peace, Roy C.
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