Henderson traveler Commission / blues / how the “Father that the Blues” discovered His Nature in Kentucky


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June 14, 2021Abby Dixonblues, music festival, w c handy, w c handy blues and also barbecue festival henderson ky riverfront blues barbecue kids live music velvetta jones chubby transport kenny neal shemekia copeland


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William Christopher Handy, also known together W.C. Handy and also the “Father of the Blues,” was among the most significant songwriters in the united States. Despite he go not create the Blues genre, he transformed the genre native its beginnings in Delta Blues through using elements of people music in his compositions.

He to buy his very first guitar native the window of a neighborhood shop without his parents’ permission. His father thought that musical tools were tools of the devil. He to be ordered by his parents to return the guitar.

Secretly, he joined a neighborhood band together a teenager playing the coronet. Comfortable went on to organize the Lauretta Quartet and they travel to the 1892 Chicago world’s Fair, only to discover out the it had actually been postponed till the next year. Handy later on joined a successful band that played throughout bordering cities close to Henderson, Kentucky. There, his luck adjusted for the better.

In 1886, when performing in ~ a barbecue in Henderson, handy met his future wife, Elizabeth Price. The two married ~ above July 19th, 1886 in the Kentucky moonlight. After spending a te in Henderson, Handy’s dedication to his music pushed his career.

Handy toured the southwest v a group called “Mahara’s Minstrels.” He ended up being a teacher in ~ the farming and mechanical College in Alabama. Later, he directed an african American band dubbed the Knights that Pythias in Mississippi. Handy published his most well known composition, “St. Luigi Blues,” in ~ the age of 40. That went top top to open up his very own publishing business, translate into many an ext blues tunes and authoring a couple of books, including his biography, “Father of the Blues.”

W.C. Handy had discovered his true calling and also passion in Henderson, Kentucky. In one interview v Joe Creason the The Courier-Journal, he said, “I no write any kind of songs in Henderson, but it to be there ns realized that experiences I had had, things I had seen and heard could be set down in a kind of music characteristics of my race. There i learned to evaluate the music of my people…then the blues to be born, because from the day on, I started thinking around putting my own experience under in that particular kind that music.”

Handy went back to Henderson in 1953 to carry out at a series of fundraisers being hosted in his honor. During this time, handy passed a prized possession, his trumpet, come a young trumpet player in the Barret High college band. The trumpet was passed down with two Henderson families prior to it was given to the Henderson ar Historical and Genealogical Society, now housed at the Henderson county Public Library. 

Each year, The W.C. Comfortable Blues and also Barbecue Festival celebrate Handy and his legacy. Drawing over 40,000 world every year, the four-night festival is among the largest free music festivals in the nation. Attendees deserve to enjoy a selection of blues styles, consisting of gritty delta blues, smooth soul, large horn bands, and also zydeco music end the span of the four-day festival. The mainly is filled with various other celebratory events, favor the wilhelm Branaman Street Strut People’s Parade, the Street Strut 5K, and festive lunch breaks and happy hours featuring neighborhood musicians. We’re kicking turn off the festivities this main in #cg-tower.com! It’s never ever too late to start making plans and also booking your trip to experience the energy that this festival brings. 

Celebrate the life and legacy of W.C. Handy by making plan to to visit the 30th W.C. Comfortable Blues and Barbecue Festival June 16-19, 2021!