Nelson’s lecture will discuss his research into the life and death of the legendary John Henry. He will discuss how hammer songs like John Henry became the basis for modern American music including the blues, country, folk, and rock & roll. Nelson will point out that the “rock & roll” was a term that was originally used by miners and railroad workers.
Scott Nelson is a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Legum Professor of History at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He is the author of Iron Confederacies (1999) and the popularly acclaimed Steel Drivin’ Man (2006), which also won the OAH Merle Curti Prize. His children’s book entitled Ain’t Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry (2007) is based on his research. He is coauthor of A People at War: Civilians and Soldiers in America’s Civil War (2007). He is the Associate Editor of the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, a member of the Editorial Board of the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, and the Editorial Board, Labor: Studies of Working Class History of the Americas.
This event is sponsored by the Glenville State College Speaker Series and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Minton, GSC Assistant Professor of English, at 462-7361 ext. 7322.