A report on W. C. Handy

Handy in July 1941, photographed by
Carl Van Vechten
Handy's birthplace in Florence, Alabama
Handy at age 19
Handy, ca. 1900, director of the Alabama Agriculture & Mechanical College Band
"The Memphis Blues" sheet music cover, 1913
1914 sheet music cover of "Yellow Dog Rag"
W. C. Handy in November 1949, playing trumpet in his music publishing office overlooking Times Square.
Bronze statue of Handy in Handy Park, Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

American composer and musician who referred to himself as the Father of the Blues.

- W. C. Handy
Handy in July 1941, photographed by
Carl Van Vechten

28 related topics with Alpha

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Sheet music cover

Saint Louis Blues (song)

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Sheet music cover

"The Saint Louis Blues" (or "St. Louis Blues") is a popular American song composed by W. C. Handy in the blues style and published in September 1914.

Portrait of Still by Carl Van Vechten

William Grant Still

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American composer of nearly two hundred works, including five symphonies, four ballets, nine operas, over thirty choral works, plus art songs, chamber music and works for solo instruments.

American composer of nearly two hundred works, including five symphonies, four ballets, nine operas, over thirty choral works, plus art songs, chamber music and works for solo instruments.

Portrait of Still by Carl Van Vechten
William Grant Still Residence at 1262 South Victoria Avenue, 2012
William Grant Still

In 1916, Still worked in Memphis for W.C. Handy's band.

Sheet music cover, 1912

The Memphis Blues

2 links

Sheet music cover, 1912
Sheet music cover, 1913

"The Memphis Blues" is a song described by its composer, W. C. Handy, as a "southern rag".

Pace, circa 1911

Harry Pace

2 links

American music publisher and insurance executive.

American music publisher and insurance executive.

Pace, circa 1911

In 1912, Pace met and collaborated with W. C. Handy, who took a liking to him; they wrote songs together.

Florence, Alabama

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City in, and the county seat of, Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the state's northwestern corner.

City in, and the county seat of, Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the state's northwestern corner.

Adolph Metzner drawing of the "female college" in Florence
Harrison Plaza, University of North Alabama
Aerial view of Florence
O'Neal Bridge over the Tennessee River

The W. C. Handy Home and Museum is dedicated to the noted musician, known as the "father of the blues". Handy was born in a log cabin at this site in 1873. The museum contains a collection of Handy's personal papers, artifacts and other items he donated before his death in 1958.

Smith in 1936

Bessie Smith

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American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age.

American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age.

Smith in 1936
Smith in 1936
Portrait of Smith by Carl Van Vechten
Smith's death certificate

In November 1929, Smith made her only film appearance, starring in a two-reeler, St. Louis Blues, based on composer W. C. Handy's song of the same name.

Black Swan Records

2 links

American jazz and blues record label founded in 1921 in Harlem, New York.

American jazz and blues record label founded in 1921 in Harlem, New York.

1921 record by Alberta Hunter

The new production company was formed after Pace's music publishing partnership with W. C. Handy, Pace & Handy, had dissolved.

Prince McCoy

1 links

American string band musician who played violin and had a pivotal but, until recently, unacknowledged role in the development of blues and popular music.

American string band musician who played violin and had a pivotal but, until recently, unacknowledged role in the development of blues and popular music.

Around 1903, when W. C. Handy and his band were playing at a dance in Cleveland, Mississippi, he encountered McCoy, although in his autobiography, Father of the Blues, as published in 1941, Handy did not refer to McCoy by name.

1918 promotional postcard of the ODJB showing (from left), drummer Tony Sbarbaro (aka Tony Spargo), trombonist Edwin "Daddy" Edwards, cornetist Dominick James "Nick" LaRocca, clarinetist Larry Shields, and pianist Henry Ragas

Original Dixieland Jass Band

1 links

Dixieland jazz band that made the first jazz recordings in early 1917.

Dixieland jazz band that made the first jazz recordings in early 1917.

1918 promotional postcard of the ODJB showing (from left), drummer Tony Sbarbaro (aka Tony Spargo), trombonist Edwin "Daddy" Edwards, cornetist Dominick James "Nick" LaRocca, clarinetist Larry Shields, and pianist Henry Ragas
The first release of "Tiger Rag" on Aeolian Vocalion, B1206, 1917
The world's first jazz record: ODJB 1917 Victor release of "Livery Stable Blues", 18255-B
Victor second pressing release of "Dixie Jass Band One-Step", 18255-A, 1917
"Tiger Rag" sheet music, 1918, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Leo Feist, New York.
"Tiger Rag" and "Sensation" released on V Disc by the ODJB, No. 214B, VP 435, Hot Jazz, June, 1944, with Eddie Edwards and Tony Sbarbaro.

W. C. Handy recorded one of the earliest cover versions of an ODJB tune when he released a recording of "Livery Stable Blues" by Handy's Orchestra of Memphis for Columbia in 1917.

Nat King Cole, 1959

Nat King Cole

2 links

American singer, jazz pianist, songwriter, and actor.

American singer, jazz pianist, songwriter, and actor.

Nat King Cole, 1959
Nat King Cole, 1959
Nat King Cole, Paramount Theater, New York City, November 1946
King Cole Trio Time on NBC with Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Johnny Miller on double bass, 1947
Capitol Records Building, known as "The House That Nat Built" on Vine St.
Cole and his second wife, Maria, 1951
Bust of Nat King Cole in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Cole's vault at Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Cole's birthplace on the campus of Alabama State University in Montgomery

He performed in many short films, sitcoms, and television shows and played W. C. Handy in the film St. Louis Blues (1958).