Happy Birthday W.C. Handy!
Composer, musician and lyricist W.C. (William Christopher) Handy was born November 16, 1873 in Florence Alabama. In 1909, he moved his band to Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee and became the “Father of the Blues.” Handy was an educated man who used folk influences in his music, meticulously studied his influences and carefully documented his work. In addition to the wonderful, distinctively American contemporary blues sound he created, he also developed wonderful lyrics that helped to shape and popularize this genre. Handy died in 1958.
Here is Louis Armstrong performing Handy’s “Yellow Dog Blues.”