Take this Hammer: The Death of John Henry and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, 1868-1930

Lecture Description

How did a ballad about a black man who challenged a steam drill become one of the first blues songs, one of the first country songs, and the most recorded song in American history? Nelson explains how a terrible crime became a folksong, and how a folksong became an American legend.


African American Music

ALL TOPICS & TITLES: Go back to all topics and titles.

Scott Reynolds Nelson

VIEW SPEAKER : Scott Reynolds Nelson

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources