So, Donald James Leslie died in LA aged 93 on Sept 2nd. He was the man who invented the Leslie rotating speaker for Hammond organs. Now, of course, there are hundreds of ways to get the Leslie sound –Mick Mars from Motley Crue used a Dynacord CLS-222 in the biggest guitar setup ever created. Anyway, five things you should know about Donald:
1) He worked in the Naval Research Labs during WWII.
2) He was a radio repair man working in a furniture store in LA. They had a Hammond organ, which sounded great in the huge, echo-ey shop, but rubbish when he took it home. He was inspired to invent the rotating speaker to make his Hammond sound better.
3) Laurens Hammond was a hi-fi freak who wanted his organs to sound clean, pure and sterile. He refused to manufacture the Leslie speaker, or to give Donald a job.
4) So Donald created a company called “Electro Music”, and sold the speakers himself. It’s not clear whether Donald got royalties from breakdancers in the early 80s who stole his company’s name.
5) You can join dozens of organ-fans by leaving your respects HERE