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Western Fiction

W. C. Handy

a.k.a. William Christopher Handy

Author Code: AWHN

Born: Nov. 16, 1873 - Florence, Alabama, USA

Died: Mar. 28, 1958 - New York City, New York, USA

Handy worked in a variety of apprenticeships in his youth, but showed to have musical talent from an early age. He studied at the Teachers Agricultural and Mechanical College in Huntsville and received a degree in 1892. He then passed a teacher's exam and began teaching school. He ultimately decided on a musical career and formed a band called the Lazette Quartet, which split up soon after. He spent time in St. Louis and then Kentucky before eventually settling in Memphis. In 1909, he wrote a campaign song which later became the Memphis Blues (1912) and was a big hit, although Handy received little compensation after selling the rights for only $100. His next hit was St. Louis Blues in 1914, a massive success which provided Handy with a degree of financial independence. He set up a publishing house which became known as Handy Brothers Music Company in 1914 and in 1918 moved to New York City. He continued to publish and promote blues and reached the apex when he organised the first blues performance at Carnegie Hall in 1928. Handy also published a number of books on the blues and spiritual music. He fell from a train platform and fractured his skull which resulted in his going blind by the mid-1940's. Handy's first wife died in 1937 and in 1954 he married his assistant Irma Logan. He died after contracting pneumonia. The film St. Louis Blues made its premier some months later, starring Nat King Cole as Handy. Handy's many works include Yellow Dog Blues (1916), Beale Street Blues (1916), Ole Miss Rag (1917), Blues: An Anthology (1926), Negro Authors and Composers of the United States (1935), W.C. Handy's Collection of Negro Spirituals (1938) and his autobiography Father of the Blues (1941).

eBook Code Title/Sub-Title Pub. Yr Pages File Size Type Download Format Find Printed Copy
AWHN001 St. Louis Blues 1914 5 1531k Music Score Download PDF - 'St. Louis Blues' (AWHN001)

Note: An Asterisk (*) after an author´s name signifies that this is a Pseudonym



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