W.C. Handy

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1937 (The 1938 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2025 (ranked #45 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
The Memphis Blues (1912)

W.C. Handy @ Wikipedia

W.C. Handy Videos

Will W.C. Handy be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


4 comments so far (post your own)

Early Influence, hell yes. Composed, performed, and just did more for the blues genre than any other single person. How come only 15 votes here? Strange.

Posted by billy on Wednesday, 08.31.11 @ 12:43pm


The 1970 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductee Biography

W.C. Handy (The Father of the Blues)

Known as the Father of the Blues, William Christopher Handy (W.C.), was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873. He attended public schools in Alabama and after graduating, became a school teacher and then worked in iron mills throughout the south.

In the late 1880’s, Handy organized a quartet in which he performed as the cornetist. The quartet toured and performed at Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. Soon after, Handy moved to Chicago and found work as a cornetist in the Mahara’s Minstrels. He spent some time in Huntsville, Texas as a bandmaster and music teacher at A&M College and then moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi where he taught band and orchestra at local schools.

In 1913, Handy started his own publishing company, the first African American to do so. Other than the incomparable “St. Louis Blues”, the W.C. Handy catalog includes “Memphis Blues”, “Yellow Dog Blues”, “Joe Turner Blues”, “Beale Street Blues”, “Hesitating Blues”, “Ole Miss”, “Aframerica Hymn”, “Harlem Blues”, “Basement Blues”, “Loveless Love (Careless Love)”, “Chantez Les Bas”, “Aunt Hagar’s Blues”, “East St. Louis Blues”, “John Henry”, “Annie Love”, “Hail to the Spirit of Freedom”, “Big Stick Blues March” and “Atlanta Blues”.

Handy also composed serious music including “Blue Destiny”, “Opportunity” and “Gettysburg Address”.

W.C. Handy died in New York City on March 29, 1958. His legacy continues through the annual W.C. Handy Awards and the W.C. Handy Blues Festival held in his home town of Florence.

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 08.31.11 @ 21:11pm

Thanks for above post Roy.

Posted by billy on Wednesday, 09.14.11 @ 15:52pm


W.C. Handy, won't you look down over me
Yeah I've got a first class ticket
But I'm as blue as a boy can be
Walking in Memphis

-Marc Cohn, 1991

Posted by Roy on Monday, 04.30.12 @ 22:35pm

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