collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

The minstrel and annex bands were features at the show grounds. Here were a group of colored minstrels, players, band people, under the direction of Edward Rucker... The band plays pretty airs of all kinds, suiting the music nicely to the work in hand. When the snakes were exhibited it played a charming waltz; somehow it fitted the exhibit; others were of similar propriety - The Indianapolis Freeman, July 4th, 1914, quoted in Ragged But Right by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff

Author Topic: John Henry  (Read 29615 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lindy

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1050
  • I'm a llama!
Re: John Henry
« Reply #135 on: March 08, 2017, 10:19:06 AM »
I first heard of Big Boy Henry through a Lightnin' Wells CD.

I came across his name while visiting the Music Maker Relief Foundation website today. Here's a link to a CD of his called 'Beaufort Blues':

https://musicmaker.org/artists/big-boy-henry/

The first selection is 'John Henry,' a strong version.

Lindy

Edited to add: I purchased a download of the entire CD. The guitar playing sounded like someone else instead of Big Boy, and it looks like Lightnin' Wells plays guitar on most (maybe all?) of the tracks. Nice version of (Oh What a) Beautiful City. Check it out!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 08:22:51 PM by lindy »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10481
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: John Henry
« Reply #136 on: February 11, 2018, 09:32:01 AM »
Hi all,
I've recently found some versions of "John Henry" not previously posted to this thread.  Here is one from Archie Edwards, the Washington D.C. barber, that he called "East Virginia John Henry":



SOLO

John Henry walked into the Big Bend tunnel
Captain was by his side
The rock was so tall, John Henry so small
Lord, he laid down his hammer and he cried
Lord, he laid down his hammer and he cried

When I was in Roanoke city
Comin' down Fifth Avenue
Met a little girl, she's all dressed in red
I said, "Honey, I'm crazy 'bout you, Lord,
Honey, I'm crazy 'bout you."

Ain't gonna tell you no story
I ain't gonna tell you no lie
If I don't get that little girl I love
Gonna take morphine until I die, Lord, I'm gonna
Take morphine until I die

GUITAR REPEATS LAST LINE AND SOLOS

John Henry had a little woman
The dress she wore was red
She went down the track one day, she never came back
She said, "I'm goin' where my husband fell dead,
Lord, I'm goin' where my husband fell dead."

SOLO

The second features North Carolina banjo player George Pegram, recorded live at the Union Grove Fiddler's Convention in 1971.



Here is Gid Tanner's Skillet Lickers, with Riley Puckett singing, doing "John Henry".  The clanging steel is a nice touch.



All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 06:26:11 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10481
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: John Henry
« Reply #137 on: March 06, 2018, 09:37:21 PM »
Hi all,
Here's a version of "John Henry" that I don't believe has been posted here before, by Buell Kazee:



INTRO

John Henry was a steel-driving man
He drove for many of a crew
And every time his hammer went down
You could see that old steelman movin' through, Lord, Lord
You could see that old steelman movin' through

John Henry married him a woman
Her name was Polly Ann
John Henry got sick in the tunnel one day
And Polly drove steel like a man, Lord, Lord
Polly drove steel like a man

SOLO

John Henry stepped up to his Captain
Says, "Captain, here I stand.
If I can't beat your steel-driving drill, oh I
Die with my my hammer in my hand, Lord, Lord
Oh, I drive with my -mer, in my hand

INTERLUDE

John Henry hammered in the mountain
'Til his hammer caught on fire
And the very last words I heard John Henry say, was,
"A cool drink of water 'fore I die, Lord, Lord,
Oh, a cool drink of water 'fore I die."

CODA

All best,
Johnm
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 01:36:16 PM by Johnm »

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10481
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: John Henry
« Reply #138 on: April 21, 2019, 12:05:16 PM »
Hi all,
Here is a version of "John Henry" that I don't believe has been posted here before, by Sid Hemphill.  Structurally, it's more like John Hurt's "Spike Driver Blues" than "John Henry" as it is normally sung.  Sid sure had some great energy in his vocal.



All best,
Johnm

Offline btasoundsradio

  • Member
  • Posts: 157
  • the artist formerly known as powerlinehorizon
    • BTA Sounds Radio: Podcast of Obscure Musics
Re: John Henry
« Reply #139 on: April 22, 2019, 04:57:37 AM »
Sids version was posted in 2012 by Uncle Bud. One of my faves.
This isn't John Henry, but it's the same melody:
Charlie is the Father, Son is the Son, Willie is the Holy Ghost

Offline Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10481
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: John Henry
« Reply #140 on: April 22, 2019, 11:50:10 AM »
I posted the John Lee Ziegler, sans video, in 2008, and it was posted again a couple of years later, at which time the lyrics were transcribed.  It is a beautiful version.
All best,
Johnm

 


anything