Newnan native and musician Hamilton Bohannon, professionally known as Bohannon, was recently inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame and was also a recipient of the Chairman’s Award.
Bohannon is a recording artist, songwriter, producer, and percussionist/musician.
The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation Inc. hosted its annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last month in Atlanta at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Each year, graduates of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) are inducted into the Hall of Fame for significant contributions they have made in their respective fields. This event promotes the viability of HBCUs and highlights the accomplishments of their alumni.
Bohannon graduated from Clark College, now known as Clark Atlanta University, with a degree in music and secondary education. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
After graduating from Clark College, Bohannon was offered a music scholarship in percussion to attend Indiana University, but instead he taught public school. He left teaching to join Stevie Wonder as his drummer, which further propelled him in becoming bandleader at Motown Records.
Bohannon and the Motown Sound, as his band was known, backed Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Martha and The Vandellas, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Diana Ross and The Supremes and the entire roster of Motown Artists in live concerts.
Bohannon has pioneered several genres of music – Disco, House Music and Hip Hop. His style of music by keeping “four on the floor” led to modern dance music. Bohannon has charted Billboard’s top 100 R&B charts 41 times, and his music has been featured in several movie soundtracks.
Not only a performer but an owner of his own work, Bohannon established Pontevedra Music Publishing, Bohannon Phase II Records, HNA Records and Bohannon Productions – owning more than 1,000 master recordings and songs.
Newnan City Councilman George Alexander was invited by Bohannon to attend the event.
“It was a great event,” Alexander event. “I was delighted he invited me. It’s such an honor for him to receive an award that Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall have received.”
“His influence continues today with today’s artists,” Mayor Keith Brady said in a previous statement. “There are still artists out there who understand their musical lot in life and what they are able to accomplish is because of people like Hamilton Bohannon.”
The musician now lives in south Fulton County and also had Peachtree Street in Newnan, the street where he grew up, renamed in his honor in August.
The National Black College Alumni Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1986 by members of the National Council of Alumni Associations. The foundation aims to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities through alumni recognition, scholarships, training and technical assistance and programs to promote humanitarian involvement.