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WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER HANDY  

(1873 - 1958)

W.C. Handy (William Christopher Handy) is best known for “St. Louis Blues” (1913), which became the title of a film based on his life (1958), starring Nat King Cole. Handy taught himself cornet and trumpet over the objections of his preacher father who believed that anything but a hymn was the “devil’s music.” He became a schoolteacher but gave it up for higher paying jobs as a laborer.

In 1896 he joined Mahara’s Minstrels and toured the South with them until 1903. During this time he absorbed the songs and spirituals of southern blacks. He was the first to collect and transcribe these melodies and the people’s singing patterns. His transcriptions established the 12-bar blues pattern with its “bent” notes, perhaps his greatest gift to music, and he eventually edited four blues books.

By 1912 he had settled in Memphis where he wrote a campaign song for a mayoral candidate and sold it to a publishing house as “Memphis Blues.” He received no royalties from its success and so established his own publishing house with Harry Pace in 1913 to market “St. Louis Blues” and other works, including “Beale Street Blues,” which became jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden’s signature song.

Handy, known as “The Father of the Blues,” enjoyed recognition in his lifetime. Not only did he make black music acceptable to white audiences but his songs were incorporated into Broadway shows and Hollywood films and sung by popular singers such as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore. Memphis named a park after him, the first jazz concert at the Metropolitan Opera House (1924) devoted its second half to Handy’s music, and he conducted a concert of black music at Carnegie Hall in 1928 (reprised in 1981). In 1969 he was honored with a U.S postage stamp.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com


View by Role: Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist | Arranger
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ARMSTRONG, Louis: I've Got The World On A String (1930-1933) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120609
Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Live in '59 (NTSC) TDKDVD
DVWW-JILA
Jazz DVD
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Rhythm Saved The World (1934-1936) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120676
Jazz
BASIE, Count: Coming Out Party (1940 - 1942) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120819
Jazz
BECHET, Sidney: Blackstick (1938-1950) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120616
Jazz
BIGBANDS LIVE - Orchester Kurt Edelhagen (1954) Jazzhaus
101718
Jazz
BRUBECK, Dave: Live in '64 and '66 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119005
Jazz DVD
CROSBY, Bob: Dixieland Shuffle (1935-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120652
Jazz
EDDIE THOMAS SINGERS (THE): The Eddie Thomas Singers Naxos Nostalgia
8.120897
Nostalgia
ELLINGTON, Duke: It Don't Mean a Thing (1930-1934) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120526
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Time's A-Wastin' (1945-1946) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 11) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120811
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing Me a Swing Song (1935-1936) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120548
Jazz
HINES, Earl: The Earl (1928-1941) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120581
Jazz
HITS OF THE 1920s, Vol. 1 (1920): Whispering Naxos Nostalgia
8.120635
Nostalgia
HOLIDAY, Billie: Trav'lin' Light (1940-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120701
Jazz
JAZZ LEGENDS - Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller Naxos Jazz Legends
8.102002
Jazz
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
KENTON, Stan: MacGregor Transcriptions, Vol. 2 (1941-1942) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120518
Jazz
LEWIS, Ted: Is Everybody Happy? (1923-1931) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120770
Jazz
MILLER, Glenn: Oh, So Good (1939-1943) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120573
Jazz
MILLS BROTHERS: Early Classics (1931-1934) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120546
Nostalgia
NORMAN, Charlie: Mr. Boogie Woogie Naxos Nostalgia
8.120849
Nostalgia
ORY, Kid: Creole Classics (1944-1947) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120587
Jazz
ORY, Kid: Ory's Creole Trombone (1945-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120769
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Djangology (1934-1935) (Reinhardt, Vol. 1) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120515
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Swingin' with Django (1937) (Reinhardt, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120698
Jazz
SHELTON, Anne: Fools Rush In (1940-1941) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120663
Nostalgia
SHORE, Dinah: Dinah Shore (1939-1951) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120659
Nostalgia
SMITH, Bessie: St. Louis Blues (1924-25) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120691
Blues
TATUM, Art: Fine And Dandy (1937-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120730
Jazz
TATUM, Art: Hold That Tiger! (1933-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120610
Jazz
TATUM: Improvisations Naxos
8.559130
Instrumental
TEAGARDEN, Jack: It's Time for T (1929-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120825
Jazz
TEAGARDEN, Jack: Texas Tea Party (1933-1950) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120585
Jazz
ULTIMATE BIG BAND COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120861-62
Nostalgia
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: In the Glenn Miller Mood Altissimo
75442255512
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Keep E'm Flying Altissimo
75442271102
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF MID-AMERICA: Heroes, Lost and Fallen Altissimo
75442260292
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF MID-AMERICA: On Tour Altissimo
75442261502
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ORCHESTRA: Remembering the Glenn Miller Army Air Forces Orchestra Altissimo
75442260542
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE TACTICAL AIR COMMAND BAND: On Parade Altissimo
75442262672
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE TACTICAL AIR COMMAND BAND: Standard Bearers of Excellence II Altissimo
75442270472
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND AND SOLDIERS' CHORUS: Band Music Altissimo
75442262652
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND JAZZ AMBASSADORS: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Altissimo
75442270012
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD DIXIELAND BAND: South Altissimo
75442270872
Contemporary Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120692
Jazz
WHITEMAN, Paul: Sweet and Low Down (1925-1928) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120628
Nostalgia
Role: Lyricist 
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Catalogue No  Work Category 
Role: Arranger 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 




 
 
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6:29:38 PM, 27 December 2014
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