Handy was born in Florence, AL. His major influence in music came from the nearby university, University of North Alabama, where he would sneak over to the campus to listen to the band as a child.
W. C. Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the style of music that is distinctively American, he is credited with its invention not only because he was formally educated and able to notate his music for publication and hence, posterity, but because of syncopated rhythms, a style unique to his music.
While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from an obscure regional music style to one of the dominant forces in American music.
Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers. He loved this simple early music and brought his own transforming touch to it.
Edited by simplymystic on 13 Mar 2010, 08:48
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