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W.C. Handy

William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 - March 28, 1958) was an African-American blues composer and sometimes referred to as The Father of the Blues.

He is most remembered for his composition "Saint Louis Blues".

While Handy was not the first publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from an obscure regional music style to one of the dominant forces in American music. His songs don't always follow the classic 12-bar pattern, often having 8- or 16-bar bridges between 12-bar verses and lovely melodies.

Handy was a trained musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined material from several performers. He loved this simple early music. Still, it is unquestioned that he brought his own transforming touch to it.

Handy was a founder of Black Swan Records, the first black-owned record company.


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