W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

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W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 02, 2011 7:28 pm

He even named his autobiography "Father Of The Blues," but I think he figured out that was a mistake. He made great contributions to the blues, tho:




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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Mon May 02, 2011 7:33 pm

Whatever you do--don't believe a word this woman says:


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:17 am

There are many things wrong with Handy's claim that he was "Father of the Blues." But the one that bit him in his lifetime was the song "Dallas Blues," published in 1911--about 8 months before Handy's "Memphis Blues."

Handy did not claim to have invented the blues, but he did claim to have been the first to publish blues.

The news about "Dallas Blues" evidently reached Handy while his autobiography (did I mention it was called "Father of the Blues?") was in the late stages of drafting. He scurried to include some paragraphs explaining away the inconvenient truth of "Dallas Blues."

First, he notes that "Dallas Blues"--composer anonymous--was submitted for copyright just 3 days before "Memphis Blues" was published.

Was he trying to make something out of the fact that the composer was anonymous? It was submitted by a man named Hart Wand--who did not claim to have composed it--but Handy himself said the contest was only over who published first.

Was he trying to make something out of the fact that Wand submitted the song only three days before Handy published? First of all, 3 days easily wins the race. But handy was also hiding the fact that Wand had published the song--without copyrighting it--8 months earlier.

Those two arguments were obviously lame, so Handy continues, noting that some songs called blues are only "titular blues"--songs that say "Blues" in the title but aren't actually in the blues format (he doesn't explicitly say that "Dallas Blues" was titular, but he obviously wanted folks to conclude that).

That last argument is the lamest of all, however, because "Dallas Blues" is in strict 12-bar format with no deviations, unlike Handy's blues, which mix formats.

But don't take may word for it, Handy himself had already included "Dallas Blues" in his encyclopedic "Anthology of the Blues" long before he started his autobiography, so he obviously recognized it as a real blues.

Handy had no doubt forgotten about what he had put in the Anthology by the time he made those sneaky "titular blues" comments.



Last edited by pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:18 am

I hasten to add that Handy's tap dance around "Dallas Blues" should take nothing away from his fine contributions to the blues genre.
But--as a person--he was evidently no better than the rest of us.

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:26 am

Sound like a blues?


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:34 am

But, it gets worse. affraid

There are blues much older than "Dallas Blues." This song was published in 1895:



Handy even says that he heard this song in St. Louis (as a folk song) before the Tin-Pan-Alley songwriter published it. Handy even said that this song inspired him to write "St. Louis Blues," which alternates between a 12-bar verse and a 16-bar chorus, exactly the same as "Bully of the Town."

Handy owned up to all that, while being totally oblivious to the fact starring him in the face--that he had lost the race to a Tin-Pan Alley songwriter way back in 1895.

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:36 am

There are recordings of "Bully of the Town" as old as 1907--with the original lyrics (N-word all over the place).

Pardon the bad words--this is of great historical importance:


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:37 am

Another candidate for the oldest published blues is "The Seige of Sevastopol," which some pundits say was published as an instrumental for guitar in open tuning back in the 19th century.

Perhaps it was, but I have not seen proof that it was published:


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:42 am

Could this be it? Shocked

A solo parlor guitar piece, and published in 1860. I'll have to try this out and see if it's the same piece Libba Cotton played:


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:54 am

The composer of "Sebastopol"--is this the true Father of the Blues?


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:13 am

False alarum--I just played Henry Worrall's piece, and it is not a blues and it has no connection whatever to Libba Cotton's "Vastopol." It's a series of bugle-call imitations.

So, the reigning father of the blues is Charles E. Trevathan, the first to publish a blues song--"The Bully" (1895).

And if anyone tries to tell you that Libba's Vastopol was published in the 1860s, don't believe it. bounce

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Tue May 08, 2012 1:13 pm

pinhedz wrote:There are recordings of "Bully of the Town" as old as 1907--with the original lyrics (N-word all over the place).

Pardon the bad words--this is of great historical importance:
Someone deleted the "Bully of the Town" clip. Shocked

No problem--here's another


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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Apr 11, 2014 8:34 am

pinhedz wrote:I hasten to add that Handy's tap dance around "Dallas Blues" should take nothing away from his fine contributions to the blues genre.
But--as a person--he was evidently no better than the rest of us.

Here is an amazing find! What a Face 

While Hart Wand's "Dallas Blues" was published in 1911--beating out Handy by 8 months--this was published in 1908--beating Hart Wand by 3 years. Shocked

 

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:45 am

And now, just to be fair and balanced, let's acknowledge that, even if he wasn't the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy was a heckuva songwriter.

Also, there's no way Eartha Kitt could have appeared wearing this dress in public in the 1920s. Shocked

 

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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

Post  pinhedz on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:47 am

Chante le bas --Nat King Cole plays W.C. Handy.

Handy might have dreamed of being this cool:




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Re: W.C. Handy claimed he was the father of the blues:

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