W.C. Handy Biography
W.C. Handy was an African-American composer and a pioneer in promoting blues music in the mid-twentieth century, with hits like “Memphis Blues” and “St. Louis Blues.”
W.C. Handy was conceived on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama. He played with a few groups and went all through the Midwest and the South, finding out about the African-American people music that would become known as the blues. Handy later composed his own melodies—including “St. Louis Blues,” “Memphis Blues” and “Auntie Hagar’s Blues”— which would help advance the structure and come to be significant commercial hits. He kicked the bucket in New York City in 1958.
Composer, musician and music distributor William Christopher Handy was conceived on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama, to Elizabeth Brewer and Charles Barnard Handy. The child and grandson of Methodist pastors, the youthful Handy showed his adoration for music at an early age and was upheld in his interests by his maternal grandmother. His dad had different thoughts, however, and was staunchly contradicted to secular musicianship for his child, just consenting to pay for organ exercises. In any case, Handy held quick to his affection and took up the cornet, additionally appreciating a cappella vocal exercises at school.
A few reports state that Handy joined a minstrel show—a theatrical production of the time that included African-American music, by and large in caricatured structure—at 15 years old. The troupe disbanded after a few appearances. Handy later learned at the Teachers Agricultural and Mechanical College in Huntsville, Alabama, receiving his degree in 1892. He at that point looked for some kind of employment as a schoolteacher, however, in his time off he continued to seek after his music career.
Hardships and First Blues Song
Handy’s contributions in molding what would be called the blues were influenced by the African-American musical people conventions that he experienced during his movements and performances. In 1892 he framed a band called Lauzette Quartet, with the goal of performing at the Chicago World’s Fair soon thereafter, however when the reasonable was delayed until 1893, the band was forced to part. Handy wound up in St. Louis, where he experienced difficult long periods of neediness, appetite, and vagrancy.
However, Handy held quick, continued to play the cornet at shows and in the long run advanced toward Kentucky, where he was employed as a musician in the well-to-do in the city of Henderson. At one performance there in 1898, Handy met Elizabeth Virginia Price, whom he wedded in July of that year. They would have two children together and stay wedded until her demise in 1937.
Yet, Handy’s first huge musical break came in 1896, when he was approached to join W. A. Mahara’s Minstrels as its bandleader. He remained with the gathering for quite a long while, venturing to every part of the country and as far away as Cuba to perform. Weary of life out and about, in 1900, Handy and Elizabeth settled down in Huntsville, Alabama, where Handy worked as a music teacher, yet in 1902 he hit the street once more.
After a visit in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where Handy headed up the band the Black Knights of Pythias and inundated himself in the local variety of the blues, before the part of the arrangement decade of the twentieth century, Handy had settled in Memphis, Tennessee, where he performed every now and again at the Beale Street clubs. In 1909 Handy wrote what was to become a campaign melody called “Mr. Crump,” named after Memphis mayoral candidate Edward H. “Chief” Crump. (Crump won the election, in spite of the fact that the lyrics of the melody weren’t the most complimenting). The tune was later reworked and became “Memphis Blues.” Handy made an arrangement to get the tune distributed in 1912, and henceforth became a pioneer in bringing the structure’s tune structures to huge audiences.
Frequently considered the main blues tune each distributed, “Memphis Blues” was a commercial hit. Handy, however, never got the chance to receive the financial benefits of its success, having offered the rights to the tune and fallen prey to exploitative strategic policies. Having taken in his exercise the most difficult way possible, he decided to set up a structure to hold ownership of his melodies and created his own distributing adventure with a songwriter named Harry Pace.
Handy discharged his next hit, “St. Louis Blues”— sketching out the hardships he’d experienced a very long time before in the main city—in 1914, under the Pace and Handy Music Company, (which later became known as the Handy Brothers Music Company, after Pace left the endeavor). “St. Louis Blues” became a huge success and would be recorded many occasions throughout the following quite a long while. Other Handy hits include “Yellow Dog Blues” (1914) and “Beale Street Blues” (1916). He would, in the long run, be credited with composing many tunes.
Later Life and Legacy
In 1918, Handy moved his business to New York to escape Southern racial threatening vibe, and later scored success with the composition “Auntie Hagar’s Blues.” He continued to elevate blues to enormous audiences during the 1920s, altering the book Blues: An Anthology (1926)— which contained blues courses of action for vocals and piano—and sorting out the principal blues performance in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1928.
Handy continued working relentlessly all through the 1930s, distributing Negro Authors and Composers of the United States in 1935 and W.C. Handy’s Collection of Negro Spirituals in 1938. A few years after the fact, in 1941, he distributed a life account, Father of the Blues. Having experienced issues with his vision for quite a long time, Handy was visually impaired by the mid-1940s because of a skull fracture—the aftereffect of a tumble from a training stage.
Handy wedded his long-term collaborator, Irma Louise Logan, in 1954, and lived to experience his works performed by famous jazz greats. The blues composer passed on of pneumonia in New York City on March 28, 1958, at 84 years old. In excess of 20,000 individuals went to his memorial service at a church in Harlem, and thousands increasingly lined the avenues to offer their respects. Just months after his passing, his biography played on the cinema in theaters across the country in the film St. Louis Blues, which featured artist Nat King Cole as the amazing composer.
Handy’s legacy continues to sparkle in the records of music, with his melodies continually reinterpreted in figures of speech of blues, jazz, popular and classical music. Frequently alluded to as the “Father of the Blues,” Handy’s spearheading vision likewise lives on through Alabama’s yearly W.C. Handy Music Festival.