Father of the Blues

An Autobiography

Handy, W. C.

(Book - 1985)
Average Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Father of the Blues
"W. C. Handy's blues--"Memphis Blues,"" ""Beale Street Blues,"" ""St. Louis Blues""--changed America's music forever. In Father of the Blues, Handy presents his own story: a vivid picture of American life now"

Series that include this title

Publisher: New York : Da Capo Press, 1985, c1941
ISBN: 0306762412
Branch Call Number: 780 H24
Characteristics: xiv, 317 p., [3] leaves of plates :,ill. ;,23 cm
Additional Contributors: Bontemps, Arna 1902-1973


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Nov 17, 2011
  • TonyTucci rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

W.C. Handy did not invent the blues, BUT he was the first to put down on paper in musical notation, all those minor thirds and sevenths that form the basis of the "blue" sound, which itself came from the cotton fields of the Old South, as workers "field hollered" to communicate and pass time. These in turn came from African tribal chants and customs that slaves brought to this continent, along with the rhythms that defined the sound. Handy's early and best known works, "St. Louis Blues" and "Beale Street Blues", certainly do mark a historic point in the evolution of American popular music. Handy also charts the evolution of musical stage productions from the wandering troubadours, to the minstrel shows of his earlier era, to the stage bands and small orchestras that ushered in the jazz and swing era, to vaudeville and the staging of popular music and musicians in what had before been the domain of classical orchestras and opera stars. Reinforces for any musician and composer the importance of securing copyrights to their own works.


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