I finally wrote another blog post for the museum. I haven’t been writing much anywhere these days. Hopefully, that’ll change soon, but for now, I’ll stick with reading, growing a baby and running after a toddler. Not exactly in that order.
W.C. Handy is one of the most recognizable names in Memphis music. Handy was born in 1873 in Florence, Alabama, to freed slaves. He was a literate man who wrote down the songs of black workers, which formed the basis of the blues. Handy moved to Memphis in 1903 and kept an office on Beale Street. In 1909, E.H. Crump hired Handy to play music as part of his mayoral campaign. He wrote “Boss Crump,” which he later renamed “Memphis Blues,” that became the campaign’s theme song. He moved to New York City in 1917 and worked there until he passed away in March 1958 at age 84.
In September 1958, Memphis hosted a “Blues of Glory” show at Crump Stadium to honor Handy and raise money for a memorial statue to be placed in Handy Park on Beale Street. One of the night’s special performers was gospel singer Mahalia…
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