Pauls composing career
The Hammond organ was created for the Gospel Churches of the deep south of America to replace the traditional old wind driven pipe organs. Through a series of ‘tone wheel generators’ producing the frequencies required, and ‘drawbars’ to choose and control which registration of flute you required, the Hammond organ could simulate the sound of air rushing through various size pipes, thus producing the various footage of pipes normally required to produce the various flute sounds produced by a traditional pipe organ.
Consequently, the Hammond became a huge hit with churches all over America, and eventually across the world, as it was a lot smaller than a pipe organ, as well as electric, and easier to own.
However, it was soon realized that the Hammond had a very ‘unique’ sound, and its versatility made it the perfect vehicle for popular music. You will here the Hammond constantly on tracks by such artists as James Brown and Aretha Franklyn. That was because they grew up with the Hammond in the Gospel Churches, and thus the Hammond ‘sound’ became synonymous with Soul music.The Hammond also works equally as well in Rock music and Jazz, consequently becoming a ‘first call’ instrument for producers around the world. From Pink floyd to Led Zeppelin concerts, you will always see a Hammond organ and 2 Leslie speakers at the corner of the stage.
When the Gaming Board in the 1960’s banned gambling from night clubs, and took the Roulette tables away, this greatly effected the entertainment industry in the UK. Like Las Vegas, the gambling paid for the cabaret acts and resident bands and orchestras. Even small night clubs had a minimum 7 piece band for backing the artists and playing for dancing. The North East of England was a hot bed for entertainment in that era, and was nick-named the’Las Vegas of The North’ due to the vast amount of night clubs and working mens clubs in the area. It would not be unusual to see Tom Jones performing at the South Shields ‘Latino’ night club at that time!
Now that the roulette was gone, the night club owners had to re-think their finances, and most owners replaced their bands with ‘organ and drums’, as the organ is effectively a band on its own, and with a drummer, an organ and drums duo could accompany cabaret and play for dancing. The Hammond prgan quickly became the main stay instrument in the North of England for Night Clubs and Working Men’s clubs.
By the time Paul Moran accepted his first job at the tender age of 17, backing 2 cabaret per night, 5 nights a week, the Hammond Organ was firmly established as the main instrument in clubland.
Paul had passed grade 8 piano, Theory and Trumpet by this time and was in the middle of studying a piano Trinity College London Licentiate Diploma, as well as studying for ‘A’ Levels. Not having officially ever having had an organ lesson in his life, Paul transferred his piano knowledge to the organ, not easy as the Hammond organ is a very different instrument, as well as having to learn the bass pedals, which are played with your feet. Paul mastered the organ while ‘on the job’, but found the instrument felt totally natural to him, and was soon ‘flying’ around the bass pedals, and doing things most other players couldn’t.
This lead one of the Godfathers of the Hammond organ, Jimmy McGriff, to label Paul Moran the ’Real Deal’, following the release of Paul’s first commercial album, ‘Smokin’ B3’, entitled with reference to the ‘B3’ model of Hammond, which most professionals play.
Paul has played Hammond on recordings with artists such as Van Morrison, Michael Buble, George Benson and Wishbone Ash to name but a few.
Today, Paul plays Piano, Hammond, Synths and Trumpet for Van Morrison, both live in concert and in the studio.