Sunday, March 16, 2014

150th anniversary of the founding of Memphis and Tennessee 17.5.1969

Issued on  May 17, 1969 at Memphis, TN on the 150th anniversary of the founding of Memphis, Tennessee, this issue salutes famous composer, musician, and the man whom many consider the “inventor of the blues,” W.C. Handy.

W. C. Handy (1873-1958). Composer and Musician. The “Father of the Blues” was born in Florence, Alabama, and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee.  Handy did not invent the blues, but was responsible for popularizing the music.  Among his famous songs are “Memphis Blues,” “Beale Street Blues,” “St. Louis Blues,” and “Joe Turner Blues.”  He wrote an autobiography, “Father of the Blues,” and a book on black musicians, “Unsung Americans Sung.”

William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues". Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.

Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.

Thank you Merja.

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