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 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. 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, 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.
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 collector’s items. See our services page for catalog sheet music, books, tapes, CDs and much more.
DR. Carlos R. Handy, President
Incoming Purchase (s)
Dr. Carlos R. Handy
Houston, Texas (USA) 77266
Handy Brothers Music Company,Inc; was open in 1918 and managed by W.C. Handy until his passing in 1958.
Servicing Trustee and Business Managers:
Handy Brothers Music Company,Inc was open in 1918 and manged by W.C. Handy until his passing in 1958.
Willian Christopher Handy (November.16,1873-March 28,1958)
was an American blues composer and musician who is the
"Father of the Blues"
My vision for the future is to grow the business and preserve the work of my grandfather.
Since the passing of my sister Minnie Hanson and my brother C.W. Handy III, I have one mission: to preserve my grandfather’s legacy – for our family and for our future generation.
Therefore, I am looking for business, musician, marketing, accounting, etc. Most have a university degree, most play a musical instrument.
We need talented people with ideas that will grow the business to the next generation.
Email your photograph, resume and cover letter to Charlie_handy@yahoo.com. (If family, please provide how are you related to W.C. Handy.)
**Submit your proposal and provide a full description of your skills and ideas for the future.
Email to : Charlie_handy@yahoo.com