Comments by Carlos R. Handy, also known as "Charles" in honor of his granduncle, and brother of W. C. Handy, Charles Handy.
Handy Brothers Music Company, Inc. has been on Broadway, in the Times Square general area, since 1918. It has had a long run on Broadway; and has become the oldest Black company on Broadway. More importantly, as cited in a 1998 ASCAP review, it is "... the oldest black-owned music publishing company in the world, and still family-owned and operated".
During his lifetime, W. C. Handy instilled a deep appreciation for music in all his children. Of those that were alive when I was a young man, my father (William C. Handy, Jr.) was a percussionist in his father's orchestra during his teenage years. He was taught by Lionel Hampton at one point. My aunt Katherine can still be heard on early recordings singing her father's Blues. My uncle Wyer was a pianist and choral arranger.
This musical tradition continued, somewhat, in their children's generation. Thus, I have a deep love for music and have played with various community symphonic bands at Columbia University, the Callanwolde Concert Band in Atlanta, Georgia, and presently in the greater Houston area (i.e. the Woodlands Concert Band, the Lone Star Concert Band, and the Cy Fair Concert Band). Almost all of Handy's music has been, or is adaptable, to different musical genres. We hope to celebrate this at the upcoming convention of the Association of Concert Bands in Houston. It is important to remember that my grandfather was a classical musician and trumpet player. My normal "day job" is that as Chair and Professor of Physics at Texas Southern University. Like my grandfather, I have always been good in mathematics, and this has guided me in all my theoretical physics/mathematical physics studies at Columbia University in New York City (BA '72, MA '75, M. Ph. '76, Ph.D. '78).
The Blues is America's gift from its former African slaves. Some of these landed on other shores in the Americas. My mother, Leonor, was from Matanzas, Cuba, the birth place of Afro-Cuban music. Needless to say, my sister (Irene, graduate of Music and Art High School) and I got the "music bug" from her too. We were born in Havana in 1950. Thus I have an international interest in the Blues and encourage everyone (i.e. "todo el mundo", "tout le monde") to express themselves through this web site.
It is my hope to record some of my grandfather's songs in the near future, as well as some of my own. -Stay tuned!
There are many items by and about W.C Handy for sale. Many are genuine collectors items.
See the services page for Catalog for Sheet Music, books, tapes, CDs, and much more.
We are inviting Internet users to shop here for WC Handy items and more.
Visitors to the office located in the landmark "CBS Ed Sullivan Building" on 53rd Street and Broadway, may view in the lobby a plaque with a photo of WC Handy and Ed Sullivan taken on Handy’s last appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
At the office in Suite 400, you will experience a tour of the history of modern American music from Tin Pan Alley to the present.
Presently : (President/Trustee), all grandchildren of W. C. Handy, and children of W. C. Handy, Jr.
Handy Brothers Music Company was managed and operated by WC Handy until his passing in 1958.
Serving as Presidents: