The Father of Blues : W.C. Handy

Known as the father of blues, Handy was a bandleader, composer, and one of the first blues artists to transcribe, publish, and popularize the genre among the masses and broaden the audience. He went around to black people, specifically in the south collected blues music and then reproduced it. Handy met a vagrant at a railroad in Mississippi around 1903 and heard him playing music on a banjo-like instrument. This sound inspired the sound that is known as the Blues today. By doing so, WC Handy was able to generate wealth for himself despite white American commodification. One of the earliest known blues songs is “The Memphis Blues,” which was written by W.C. Handy in 1909. Due to the heavy influence of work songs in the blues, it was informally established as a male dominated genre.


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