Black Music Month: Beres Hammond

June is Black Music Month and WERS at Night will recognize black musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters who have made enormous contributions to the music industry. Today, June 6th, Rockers is highlighting Beres Hammond.

The king of rovers rock continues to do his thing and sing songs that touch lovers all over the world. Born in Saint Mary, Jamaica on August 28, 1955, Beres Hammond’s soulful voice hit Jamaica in the 1970s. He was born Hugh Beresford Hammond on this day and adopted his stage name Beres Hammond. Initially, Beres Hammond was the lead singer of a band called Zap Pow when he first got introduced in Jamaica. From there, he moved into a solo career which had great success in the 1990s. He even started his own record label, Harmony Records, where he produced two songs before he went to America. Hammond left Jamaica to go to New York to further his career where he had his first hit song, “I’m In Love”, in 1978. When he returned to Jamaica, his career sky rocked and he became very famous.

He was influenced by music with soul and purpose. He admires singers like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, which helped him form his own style of music. His raspy, soulful voice makes it hard not to fall in love with him – it’s the reason his music works. Beres Hammond has a way with his lyrics along with the combination of his voice that cannot help but get a woman excited. Not only this, but his music can be a remedy to any relationship.

Beres Hammond’s style is known simply as “lovers rock”. When his voice appears over the melodies, you cannot help but rock to the beats and to his beautiful voice. Hammond is a great original song writer whose songs were produced on better quality riddims during the 1990s. This caused him to stand out in the music industry. He has a way of storytelling in his music that helps paint a picture to appeal to adult in love. His classic song “Double Trouble”, which depicts a man who is afraid to go home because he knows that he will get caught cheating on his wife, is a classic because it is an obstacle that people in relationships have to conquer. Also, in another classic hit, “No Disturb Sign”, we hear a story of two lovers that are having a sexual nightcap and don’t want to be disturbed. His music can be felt by everyday working people that just want to be loved and held gently throughout the night.

Hammond is a legend because his reputation was established in the late 1980s. His fame and talent was cemented when he came back to Jamaica and sang hit after hit, starting with his album Beres Hammond (1985) and ending with his album Music is Life (2000). He is known for his songs “Rock Away”, “Can’t Stop a Man”, “I Feel Good”, and many more. He continues to do music and one can find him in Jamaica doing local shows or even in our very home.

By Jessika Daley

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