John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845), often called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American legend while still alive, due to his kind, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian).
The Johnny Appleseed Festival is a name given to any number of festivals held in the United States in honor of John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, usually in September or October.
One major Johnny Appleseed Festival is held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The festival traditionally features food, crafts, and historical demonstrations commemorating the times of John Chapman. It is always held in the third full weekend of September, at Johnny Appleseed Park. Festival hours are always 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on the Saturday of the festival, and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.
Founded in 1997 by activist attorney Jim Musselman, Appleseed Recordings is an idealistic, internationally distributed and independent music label devoted to releasing socially conscious contemporary and traditional folk and roots music by a wide array of established and lesser-known musicians. The West Chester, Pa.-based company’s approach has led to a catalogue of more than 100 CD titles to date, two Grammy Awards, and eleven Grammy nominations.
Appleseed’s roster includes CDs by “heritage” artists Pete Seeger, Donovan, Tom Paxton, Tom Rush, former Byrds leader and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Roger McGuinn, Sweet Honey in the Rock, David Bromberg, Jesse Winchester, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Stewart, Eric Andersen, Al Stewart, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and women’s music pioneer Holly Near, international performers Johnny Clegg (South Africa), Tommy Sands (Northern Ireland), Aoife Clancy (Ireland) and Dick Gaughan (Scotland), and by a younger generation of musicians, many with sociopolitical leanings, that includes John Wesley Harding, Kim and Reggie Harris, Angel Band, Christine Lavin, Tim Eriksen and Lizzie West. Among the guest artists who have participated in Appleseed releases are Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Earle, Ani DiFranco, Wyclef Jean, Tom Morello, Emmylou Harris, Jon Bon Jovi, and Billy Bragg. Bruce Springsteen has also recorded five exclusive songs for Appleseed.