HANDY, W(ILLIAM) C(HRISTOPHER). (1873‑1958). American composer and trumpeter; creator of the immortal Saint Louis Blues. Signed book. (“William C. Handy”). 236pp. 4to. N.p., September 19, 1954. A second edition of Unsung Americans Sung, inscribed by Handy, “With many good wishes,” to Elizabeth Nordell.
Drawing on traditional black folk music, Handy helped develop the conception of blues as “a harmonic framework within which to improvise,” (Encyclopaedia Britannica). His famous Memphis Blues incorporated the use of the “blue,” or flattened seventh tone and is characteristic of southern folk music. Handy later wrote other blues pieces such as Beale Street Blues and Careless Love.
Watch W.C. Handy perform “St. Louis Blues” nice and slow!