In case it was missed.
One of the speakers that is still on my list to own....someday.
One of the great speaker inventions....
In my opinion.
"Device gave organ music new sound"
By Marshall Allen, Staff Writer
ALTADENA -- Donald James Leslie invented the speaker that made the Hammond organ famous in jazz, blues and rock 'n' roll music, but the instrument's creator never appreciated his contribution.
Leslie, who had more than 50 patents in his name, died Thursday night at his Altadena home. He was 93.
The Hammond B-3 is still heard every day on the radio in rock 'n' roll songs like "You Shook Me" by Led Zeppelin and "Smokin" by Boston. Jazz greats like Joey DeFrancesco also highlight the organ's sound.
But according to Bob Mitchell, 91, who has been a professional organist since 1924, the Hammond sound was originally only good for church music and comedy. The Hammond was missing vibrato when it was introduced in 1935, Mitchell said.
When Laurens Hammond introduced his organ it sounded a "perfect electronic tone," said Jim Leslie, 40, one of Donald Leslie's sons. The sound was dull, shrill and still, he said.
Mitchell recalls that he was working as a staff organist at KHJ radio in Los Angeles in 1937, when Donald Leslie introduced him to his invention, now known as the Leslie Speaker. The speaker had a distinctive "heart-throb sound," a vibrato that a pipe organ also featured, Mitchell said.
"He revolutionized the electronic organ," making it possible to use for entertainment, Mitchell said. "He was certainly a wonderful genius."
The speakers were unique because they projected sound into two rotating horns, one for treble, another for bass. The rotating horns could spin at slow or fast speeds and caused sound to be projected 360 degrees.
Leslie offered to sell his speakers to Hammond, but the organ maker refused.
"Hammond was very personal about his invention of the Hammond organ and he didn't want any outsider fiddling with the sound," Jim Leslie said.
In the mid-1940s, Leslie started his own company in Pasadena, Electro Music, and began selling his speakers. Leslie and Hammond's inventions had a symbiotic relationship. The Leslie Speaker was designed to be used with the Hammond organ, but the items were sold separately.
Hammond tried to shake the connection, Jim Leslie recalled. He installed speaker connections that were incompatible with Leslie speakers, which Leslie then matched. And Hammond did not allow his dealers to sell Leslie Speakers, Jim Leslie said.
Hammond's attempts to ditch Leslie only made the speakers more popular, Jim Leslie said. Leslie never had to advertise.
"Everybody loved it and they wanted the Leslie speaker along with the Hammond."
Leslie sold his company to CBS in 1965 and stayed on as a consultant until his retirement in 1980.
It was not until 1978, after the death of Laurens Hammond, that the Hammond company honored Leslie's contribution, Jim Leslie said.
Leslie also was a pilot and held patents for radio control of model trains and control and chlorination systems for swimming pools.
Leslie also is survived by his wife of 50 years, Carolyn, 73; a son, Scott, 47; a daughter, Jeanine Sherlock, 48; and six grandchildren.