W. C. Handy

Born in a log cabin in 1873 near the banks of the Tennessee River, Florence native William Christopher Handy became known as the "Father of the Blues".

Handy was the son and grandson of Methodist ministers, and maintained an affinity for religious music throughout his life.

With the publication of "Memphis Blues" in 1912, Handy standardized a unique, form of American music that became known as "the blues". Later compositions, from "St. Louis Blues" to "Beale St. Blues", established standards for this heartfelt musical genre.

In the 1920s, Handy moved to New York City and became a successful music publisher. He died in New York March 28, 1958.

Handy is a 1987 Lifework Award for Performing Achievement Award recipient.

Other W. C. Handy links:
W. C. Handy Bio
The Father of Blues
W. C. Handy at Memphis Music
W. C. Handy Bio

Alabama Music Hall of Fame

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Created: 2/15/96