The oldest family-owned business ! 1918 - 2016
Who was W. C. Handy? He was an American blues composer and musician. Dr. Willian Christopher Handy (November.16,1873-March 28,1958) He hold a doctor degree in music from the University of Wilber Force. W.C. Handy was an educated musician who used elements of folk music in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from various performers. He wrote several books on African-american Hymn/ music and Blues music.
He is well know as the: "Father of the Blues" or the "Daddy of the Blues"
Popular Music: ( Memphis blues, St. Louis Blues, Basement blues, etc)
Awards: Named to Ebony Hall of Fame, 1959; “Father of the Blues” commemorative six-cent stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office, 1960; W. C. Handy Day celebrated annually in Florence, Alabama, on November 16; streets and parks in New York, Tennessee, and Alabama named in Handy’s honor; several American blues awards bestowed in his honor.
Member: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Association of American Composers and Conductors, Negro Actors Guild of America, American Federation of Musicians, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
Comments by the Grandson : Professor 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 Handy can still be heard on early recordings singing her father's blues. My uncle Wyer Handy 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 in New York City, 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 at mathematics, and this has guided me in all of my theoretical physics/mathematical physics studies at Columbia University (B.A. '72, M.A. '75, M.Ph. '76, Ph.D. '78).
The blues is America's gift from its former African slaves through the blues he show deep emotional feelings for the sounds he hear when he was growing up. He was the son of emancipated african-american slaves. He was the first generation to go to college and finished a degree at a university.
Despite the sucess of many of his composition, books, radio-presentation, movie or his disabilitiy of been blind. He never stop working in his music. Here is quote by my grandfather W.C.Handy:" Life is something like this trumpet. If you don't put anything in it you don't get anything out. And that's the truth" ( New York times)
Today we still can hear his music been play inside the USA or outside the USA. The blues music capture in his many compositions the melancholia of all loneliness and the sadness of his race.
Looking back to society in the 1800 and success he achived. I am amazed how smart he was for his time.
He was a businessmen, compositor, a genious !! He landed on other shores in the Americas.(Cuba). W. C. Handy travels inside USA and outside USA.
This give him a deep knowledge of his roots and a better understanding of african-american songs and how precious they were!! W. C. Handy share the blues music with all american-citizen (black and white) and added to history the blues music. He saw how other culture societies interact with men of his race and how they were free to said what it was in their mind.
When my father meet my mother, Leonor Handy through my half sister Willmina Handy and I got to believe my gradfather related his experiences in Cuba to him and how he was welcome into the cuban culture.
My mother was from Matanzas , Cuba. The birth place of Afro-Cuban music (e.i. Celia Cruz and may others famous singer from Cuba living in New York) Needless to say, my sister, Irene Handy, who graduated from the 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 to express themselves through this website. ( send a email)
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!
"We are open since 1918-2016"
Dr. Carlos R. Handy,President & CEO
Houston, Texas, 77266 (USA)
Phone: 713 458 8577
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Did you Know?
W. C. Handy holds a doctor degree in Music from the Wilberforce University ( available at the Florences Alabama, Musean)
W.C. Handy was a visionary business men take a look at some of his compositions.