Most product announcements are overhyped, dramatically overstating the coming impact of some gadget or another. Technology of the last several years has seen announcements of some devices that really have changed our lives pretty rapidly, though, at least for those who can afford them. How many product announcements during the 1930s would introduce the public to something whose impact is still directly felt every day throughout western culture? According to a KALW almanac post that's probably got the date right but is otherwise filled with factual errors at http://www.kalw.org/post/wednesday-april-24-2013-1
, today is the 79th anniversary of a product announcement that did that. The Hammond Organ, announced on this day in 1934, helped define the sound of 20th-century western (particularly American, but also European) music, and is still a big building block in the sound of every genre of today's popular music. Rock and roll, jazz, sacred music (particularly in American black churches but not only there), funk, country, blues, film-score, and soul all bear the indelible mark of this instrument's versatile sonic palette. It has made a big part of my musical life what it is today, and it probably has helped define your musical life whether you know it or not. Only the electric guitar has arguably left as big a mark on the sound of the music we expect to hear around us today compared to a century ago.
If you're interested in the Hammond Organ, today might be a good day to join the G+ Hammond Organ community.