John Henry is an American folk hero, who has been the subject of numerous songs, stories, plays, and novels. Summers County is a County located in the US state of West Virginia. A folk hero is type of Hero, real or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name personality
Like other "Big Men" such as Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, and Iron John, John Henry also served as a mythical representation of a group within the melting pot of the 19th-century working class. Paul Bunyan is a Mythological Lumberjack who appears in Tall tales of American folklore. Pecos Bill is a legendary American Cowboy, apocryphally immortalized in numerous Tall tales of the Old West during American "Iron John" (aka Iron Hans or Der Eisnehaus) is a German Fairy tale found in the collections of the Brothers In the most popular story of his life, Henry is not born into the world big and strong. He grows to be the greatest "steel-driver" in the mid-century push to erect/extend the railroads across the mountains to the West. The complication of the story is that, as machine power continued to supplant brute muscle power (both animal and human), the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly black driving crew. In a bid to save his job and the jobs of his men, John Henry challenges the inventor to a contest: John Henry versus the steam hammer. John Henry wins, but in the process, he collapses and dies. While many don't attempt to explain his cause of death, the cause varies among those who do. Some cite it as a heart attack; in other versions of the story, John Henry suffers from a stroke. Myocardial infarction ( MI or AMI for acute myocardial infarction) also known as a heart attack, occurs when the blood supply A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain Other versions say he dies from exhaustion. Finally, in one version, he survives.
In modern depictions John Henry is often portrayed as hammering down rail spikes, but older versions depict him driving blasting holes into rock, part of the process of excavating railroad tunnels and cuttings. In almost all versions of the story, John Henry is a black man and serves as a folk hero for all American working-class people, representing their marginalization during changes entering the modern age in America. While the character may or may not have been based on a real person, Henry became an important symbol of the working class. His story is usually seen as an archetypal illustration of the futility of fighting the technological progress that was evident in the 19th century upset of traditional physical labor roles. Some labor advocates interpret the legend as illustrating that even the most skilled workers of time-honored practices are marginalized when companies are more interested in efficiency and production than in their employee's health and well-being. The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better Although John Henry proved himself more efficient than the steam-drill, he worked himself to death and was replaced by the machine anyway. Thus the legend of John Henry has been a staple of American labor and mythology for well over one hundred years.
The truth about John Henry as the strongest man alive is obscured by time and myth, but one legend has it that he was a slave born in Missouri in the 1840s and fought his famous battle with the steam hammer along the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in Talcott, West Virginia. Missouri ( or) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from many smaller railroads begun in the 19th century Talcott (also Rolinsburgh or Rollinsburg) is an unincorporated community in Summers County, West Virginia, United States A statue and memorial plaque have been placed along a highway south of Talcott as it crosses over the tunnel in which the competition may have taken place.
The railroad historian Roy C. Long found that there were multiple Big Bend Tunnels along the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railway. Also, the C&O employed multiple black men who went by the name "John Henry" at the time that those tunnels were being built. Though he could not find any documentary evidence, he believes on the basis of anecdotal evidence that the contest between man and machine did indeed happen at the Talcott, West Virginia, site because of the presence of all three (a man named John Henry, a tunnel named Big Bend, and a steam-powered drill) at the same time at that place. 
The book Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry, the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Reynolds Nelson, an associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary, argues that John William Henry, a prisoner in Virginia leased by the warden to work on the C&O Railway in the 1870s, is the basis for the legendary John Henry. The College of William and Mary (officially The College of William and Mary in Virginia, also known as William & Mary or W&M) is a Public university 
Retired chemistry professor and folklorist John Garst has argued that the contest instead happened at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern) near Leeds, Alabama on September 20, 1887. The Columbus and Western Railway (C&W is a historic railroad that operated in Georgia, United States. This article is about the present railroad formed in 1990 For the former regional railroad in Virginia and North Carolina a small part of the new one see Norfolk Southern Leeds is a city located in Jefferson, St Clair, and Shelby Counties in the U Events 451 - The Battle of Chalons takes place in North Eastern France. Year 1887 ( MDCCCLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Based on documentation that corresponds with the account of C. C. Spencer, who claimed in the 1920s to have witnessed the contest, Garst speculates that John Henry may have been a man named Henry who was born a slave to P. Year 1920 ( MCMXX) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display 1920 of the Gregorian calendar A. L. Dabney, the father of the chief engineer of that railroad, in 1850. For the game see 1850 (board game. 1850 ( MDCCCL) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link  The city of Leeds is making plans to honor John Henry's legend with an exhibit in its Bass House historical museum and with a planned annual festival culminating on the third Saturday of September. 
Though no documentary proof has emerged to rule out either theory, both Talcott and Leeds use their supposed connections with the legend in promotional and educational literature and events. Every year, on the weekend after the fourth of July, the town of Talcott hosts a celebration known as "John Henry Days. " The weekend includes many yard sales, a parade, fireworks, and a rubber ducky race.
Songs featuring the story of John Henry have been sung by many blues, folk, and rock musicians, Leadbelly (singing both "John Henry" and a variant entitled "Take This Hammer"), Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Paul Robeson, Mississippi John Hurt (in his "Spike Driver Blues" variant of the song), Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Wookiefoot, Big Bill Broonzy, Josh White, Odetta, Johnny Cash (singing "The Legend of John Henry's Hammer") a nine minute version, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Fred McDowell, John Renbourn, John Fahey (who plays both an instrumental of the original song, and an instrumental of his own, "John Henry Variation"), Harry Belafonte, Roberta Flack, Dave Van Ronk, The Gun Club, Little Jimmy Dickens, John Jacob Niles and the Drive-By Truckers (singing "The Day John Henry Died"). Huddie William Ledbetter, (January 1888 – December 6 1949 was an American folk and Blues Musician, notable for his clear and forceful singing Take This Hammer ( Roud 4299) is a prison work song It was collected by John and Alan Lomax. Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry ( 24 October 1911, Greensboro, North Carolina - 11 March 1986, Walter Brown ("Brownie" McGhee ( November 30 1915 - February 16 1996) was a folk - Blues Singer Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson ( April 9, 1898 &ndash January 23, 1976) was a multi-lingual American Actor, athlete "Mississippi" John Smith Hurt ( July 3 1893 or March 8, 1892, Teoc, Carroll County, Mississippi - November Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14 1912–October 3 1967 was an American Singer-songwriter and Folk musician Guthrie's musical legacy Peter "Pete" Seeger (born May 3 1919 is an American folk singer political Activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century American Big Bill Broonzy ( 26 June 1898 &ndash 14 August 1958) was a prolific American Blues Singer, songwriter Joshua Daniel White ( February 11, 1914 –- September 5, 1969) best known as Josh White, was a legendary American Odetta (born December 31, 1930) is an African-American singer actress guitarist songwriter and a human rights activist often referred to as "The Johnny Cash (born J R Cash; February 26 1932 - September 12 2003 was a Grammy Award -winning American country Singer-songwriter. Ramblin' Jack Elliott (born Elliott Charles Adnopoz, August 1, 1931) is an American folk performer Fred McDowell ( January 12 1904 - July 3 1972) often known as Mississippi Fred McDowell, was a blues Singer and Guitar John Renbourn (born 8 August 1944, Marylebone, London, England) is an English Guitarist and Songwriter John Fahey (February 28 1939 – February 22 2001 was an American Fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string guitar as a solo Harold George Belafonte Jr (born March 1 1927 is an American musician actor and Social activist. Roberta Flack (born February 10, 1937) is an American Singer-songwriter and Musician who is notable in the areas of Jazz Dave Van Ronk ( June 30 1936 – February 10 2002) was a Folk singer born in For information on "gun clubs" see Shooting ranges ' The Gun Club was an American Punk blues band from Los Angeles James Cecil Dickens (born December 19, 1920) is an American Country music singer from Bolt West Virginia. John Jacob Niles (b Louisville, Kentucky, April 28, 1892; d Lexington Kentucky, March 1, 1980) was an Drive-By Truckers are a Rock band based in Athens Georgia, though three out of five members (Mike Cooley Patterson Hood and Shonna Tucker originally hail Several versions have become standards among bluegrass musicians. This article refers to a music term For other uses see Standard (disambiguation. Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and is a sub-genre of Country music. Specifically, John Henry Brown is the main character in the song "Quack on duck" recorded by both Doc Watson and the Rice Brothers. Dave Dudley wrote his own variation called "John Henry". Dave Dudley ( May 3 1926 – December 22 2003) was a Country music singer Northern Ireland band 'The Helfire Club' reference the plight of John Henry in their song 'Dead Man's Funk'. The Shane Daniel album Yours Truly contains a song called "The Spirit Of John Henry". Daniel says this song has to do with the name John Henry not being used in modern songs. The Supremes recorded a song in 1967 entitled "Treat Me Nice John Henry" which explains about a girl's love for John Henry growing and growing and begging for him to be nice to her. The Supremes were an American female singing group that first formed as a quartet called The Primettes Tom T. Hall performed a song called "More About John Henry", which explored John Henry's personal life. Tom T Hall (born May 25, 1936 in Olive Hill, Kentucky) is an American country balladeer, Songwriter, and During the 1990's, Atlanta based band Burnin' Pork Truck included "John Henry" in every performance. Most recently, Bruce Springsteen performs "John Henry" with a folk band on his 2006 album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions, released in 2006, is the fourteenth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. It was translated into Norwegian as "Jon Henry" in 1973 by Odd Børretzen. Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Odd Lunde Børretzen (born November 21, 1926) is a Norwegian author illustrator translator and vocalist  Van Morrison recorded a rock version of the folk song on his 1998 album The Philosopher's Stone. George Ivan Morrison OBE (generally known as Van Morrison) (born 31 August 1945 is a Grammy Award -winning Northern Irish Singer, Rock music is a genre of Popular music often though not necessarily employing Electric guitar, Bass guitar, and Drums. For the Harry Potter book see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone The Philosopher's Stone is a compilation Album by Henry Thomas also recorded a version of the song. Henry Thomas (1874-1950s? was an American pre- World War II, country Blues Singer, Songster and Musician. Indie rock/Alt-country group Songs: Ohia released the song "John Henry Split My Heart" on their 2003 album Magnolia Electric Co., and fellow alt-country group Drive-By Truckers released the song "The Day John Henry Died" on their 2004 album The Dirty South. Indie rock is genre of Alternative rock that primarily exists in the independent Underground music scene Alternative country is a term used to describe a number of Country music subgenres that tend to differ from mainstream or pop country music Jason Molina is an American singer-songwriter originally from Lorain Ohio. Magnolia Electric Co is the seventh regular and final album by Songs Ohia. Alternative country is a term used to describe a number of Country music subgenres that tend to differ from mainstream or pop country music Drive-By Truckers are a Rock band based in Athens Georgia, though three out of five members (Mike Cooley Patterson Hood and Shonna Tucker originally hail The Dirty South is the sixth Album by Alabamian Country rock group Drive-By Truckers, released in 2004 The Smothers Brothers have also used the "John Henry" song as part of their folk satire routine. The Smothers Brothers are an American music-and- Comedy team consisting of the brothers Tom ("Tommy" and Dick Smothers. John Henry reappears as an avenging bogeyman figure in "John Henry Gonna" on Those Poor Bastards' 2007 album Hellfire Hymns. Also, Canadian group "Cuff The Duke" have a hit song titled "The Ballad of Poor John Henry", while New York art-metal collective The Book Of Knots just released a song titled just "The Ballad of John Henry" on their new album, Traineater. American composer Aaron Copland arranged the traditional "John Henry" for orchestra or chamber orchestra in 1940, a composition that appears on the soundtrack for the Spike Lee film He Got Game (1998), among other recordings. Aaron Copland (November 14 1900 &ndash December 2 1990 was an American Composer of concert and film music as well as an accomplished Pianist. Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20 1957 is an Emmy Award -winning and Academy Award -nominated American Film director, He Got Game is a 1998 sports - drama Film written and directed by Spike Lee, and starring Denzel Washington and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song as well in 1960. Jerry Lee Lewis (born September 29, 1935) is an American Rock and roll and Country music Singer, Songwriter Smokey And The Bandit Opening theme says, "You've heard about the legend of Jesse James, and John Henry just to mention some names. " With lyrics ". . . Thinking how happy John Henry was that he fell down and died," Gillian Welch, makes reference in album "Time (The Revelator)" song Elvis Presly Blues. A British folk-punk band, The Cropdusters, from Hampshire, also recorded a song called "John Henry" in the 1980s. Buck 65 also makes reference to "the hammer that killed John Henry" in a rap song circa 2006. There is also a southern metal band located in Wichita Falls, Texas called "John Henry vs. The Machine".
In 2000, Walt Disney Feature Animation completed a short subject film based on John Henry, produced at the satellite studio in Orlando, Florida, directed by 1Mark Henn, written by Shirley Pierce and produced by Steven Keller. 2000 ( MM) was a Leap year that started on Saturday of the Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. Walt Disney Animation Studios (as Walt Disney Feature Animation is a key element of The Walt Disney Company, and the oldest existing Animation studio in the world Short subject is a format description originally coined in the North American Film industry in the early period of cinema. Orlando is a major City in central Florida, USA and is the County seat of Orange County Florida. Keller, Henn and Pierce worked collaboratively with the Grammy Award winning group "Sounds of Blackness" to create all new songs for the film. Sounds of Blackness is a Grammy Award -winning Vocal and Instrumental ensemble from Minneapolis/St The film also featured the voice talent of actress Alfre Woodard. Alfre Ette Woodard (born November 8, 1952) is an American actress. "John Henry" created a strong positive response around the animation community, won several film festivals both domestically and abroad, and was one of seven finalists for the 2001 academy awards in its category. A festival is an event usually and ordinarily staged by a local community which centers on some unique aspect of that community In mathematics Seven is the fourth Prime number. It is not only a Mersenne prime (since 23 &minus 1 = 7 but also a Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. An academy ( Greek Ἀκαδημία is an institution of higher learning research or honorary membership An award is something given to a person or a group of people to recognize Excellence in a certain field a certificate of excellence
However, Disney was uneasy about releasing a short about a black folk hero created by an almost completely white production team, and aside from film festivals, industry screenings and limited theater screenings required for academy award consideration, a slightly cut down version of John Henry was released only as part of a video compilation entitled Disney American Legends in 2001. Black is the Color of objects that do not emit or Reflect Light in any part of the Visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of A folk hero is type of Hero, real or mythological. The single salient characteristic which makes a character a folk hero is the imprinting of the name personality White is a Color, the perception which is evoked by Light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive Cone cells in the Human eye A festival is an event usually and ordinarily staged by a local community which centers on some unique aspect of that community For other uses of this term see Industry (disambiguation An industry (from Latin industrius, "diligent industrious" Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. This became the nation's top-selling children's video for several weeks upon its release. Disney Educational Productions has also made the film available as a stand-alone product for video use in schools. The film is often shown on The Disney Channel, particularly during Black History Month. For the Disney Channel in other countries see Disney Channel around the world. Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.