Earl Solomon Burroughs, better known as Jack Hammer, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter born in New Orleans in September 1925. Active from the mid 1950’s, when he issued his first record, Football Rock b/w So What, he celebrated a recording career that spanned over 15 years!
Initially he was recording albums for the Warwick and Polydor labels, and then made a move to Europe where he continued to record for the Belgian Ronnex label.
What he is also best known for (though this was a new fact to me) is his contribution to Jerry Lee Lewis’s, Great Balls of Fire! This he co-wrote alongside fellow singer-songwriter/pianist, Otis Blackwell. Jack Hammer also wrote Milkshake Mademoiselle for Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as Sapphire for Big Danny Oliver, Coc-o-Doll for The Impacts and Peek-a-Boo for The Cadillacs.
Concrete Desert appeared on his debut album, Rebellion – Jack Hammer Sings And Reads Songs And Poems Of The Beat Generation, which was released on Warwick Records in 1960. His big strong vocals are perfect for the sentiment of this song, which tackles city life and the existential alienation that goes with it and amidst his croons, the anguish really pours out. Check it out above.