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W.C. Handy

(1873—1958) American blues musician


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(b Florence, Alabama, 1873; d NY, 1958).

Amer. composer whose parents had been slaves. Left home at 18 to become vagrant musician, playing tpt. in brass bands. Toured South with his own orch. 1903–21. Became co‐proprietor of mus. publishing business in Memphis. Among works he published were his own Memphis Blues (1912) and St Louis Blues (1914). Known as ‘father of the blues’.

Subjects: Music


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