Born the ninth of ten children; Hammond grew up listening to his father’s collection of American soul and jazz music; including Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. He was further influenced by the native musics of ska and rocksteady, in particular Alton Ellis.
Hammond began participating in local talent contests from 1972 to 1973, which led to his first recording, of Ellis’ “Wanderer”. In 1975 he joined the band, Zap Pow, as lead singer, leading to the hit 1978 single, “The System” under the Aquarius Records label. However, he simultaneously sought a solo career, releasing his debut album, Soul Reggae, in 1976. His solo ballads “One Step Ahead” (1976) and Joe Gibbs produced “I’m in Love” (1978), were both hits in Jamaica. He left Zap Pow in 1979 to pursue his solo career, and recorded two more albums Let’s Make A Song in 1980 and Red Light 1981. He formed Tuesday’s Children, a harmony group that toured but never recorded.
Hammond formed his own record label, Harmony Records, in 1985 for the release of his Make a Song album, which had two Jamaican chart-toppers that were influenced by the emerging dancehall style: “Groovy Little Thing” and “What One Dance Can Do”.