W. C. Handy

by emmanders
Last updated 7 years ago

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W. C. Handy

W. C. Handy

William Christopher Handy was an American blues musician, arranger, composer, and folklorist. He is known as the "Father of the Blues" for his contribution to the attention of blues in the world.

Time Line


Born November 16, 1873Florence, Alabama

As a worker, Handy continued to practice music by playing the cornet in a brass band. During this time, he got married Elizabeth Price of Henderson.

As teacher a music teacher, Handy continued to write music and became an aspiring musician. He created some of his hits between 1914-1921 which include: "Yellow Dog Blues", "Beale Street Blues", "Joe Turner Blues", and others.

Unfortunately, Handy lost his vision after a train tracks incident. He later died at the age of 80 in 1958. His death was mourned throughout the world. Many other musical things have been named after him. The Handy Bothers Music Company is still run by family members on Broadway.

Handy's biography became an important part of American history and music. As the Great Depression hit, it affected some of Handy's business, but his song "The Memphis Blues" regained its popularity.

Handy grew up with a religious father, whom discouraged secular music, and moved him towards playing the reed organ at church. With this musical background, Handy then created vocal arrangements and songs with his friends when he was 16.


Played cornet in brass bands and worked on his musical skills


Became music teacher at the Alabama Agricultural and Mechcanical College and continued working as his fame beacem more wide known



As his fame grew with his many musical pieces, he published his hit biography, Father of the Blues

Died March 28, 1958

Yellow Dog Blues (1922)

The Memphis Blues

St. Louis Blues is one of the most frequently recorded compositions in musical history. (1914)



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