Friday, August 22, 2008

Dave Kutner, former president of Hammond Organ, dies at 93

Dave Kutner, former president of Hammond Organ, died of a heart attack at his home in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., on June 26. He was 93.

Prior to joining Hammond in 1965, he had an impressive background with Motorola, Zenith, and Helene Curtis. Organ sales had slipped during the decade prior to Kutner joining Hammond, and he launched a new product, which his wife named the Hammond Piper. Its immediate success turned the company's fortunes around. Kutner's focus on the home market led to the introduction of the first non-tonebar "J" series spinet featuring a built-in rhythm unit, six rhythm voices, and many other features typically only found in console models. He was also a board member of the American Music Conference. Kutner retired in 1971, but long after he retired, he still kept in touch with industry friends. A tribute to Dave is posted on the NAMM web site, along with a video clip from his interview for the Oral History project.

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