DAILY FUEL: W.C. Handy – “Father of the Blues”

 Composer and musician W.C. HANDY was born in Florence, Alabama on this day in 1873 and played guitar and organ as a child before settling on the cornet. Playing in and leading various ensembles and minstrel shows across the south and midwest, Handy landed eventually in Memphis and had his first hit song,”Memphis Blues” in 1909. Five years later, he was firmly established and had become the first composer to take the Delta Blues structure to the masses by writing its elements into popular music that could be published and played around the country. Often called the “Father of the Blues”, W.C. Handy created a publishing business that eventually moved to New York. He received a Grammy Trustees Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.

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