Historical marker honors "Father of the Blues" in Florence

Historical marker honors "Father of the Blues" in Florence

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The Mississippi Blues Trail has expanded into northwest Alabama, celebrating the "Father of the Blues", W.C. Handy.

Handy's grandson, Dr. Carlos Handy, spent Thursday afternoon in Florence for the unveiling of the new historical marker outside W.C. Handy's birthplace. Handy was born in Florence in 1873. Every year the city honors his legacy through a 10 day music festival known as "HandyFest."

Handy, a band leader, is credited with being the first musician to put blues music into written form. Handy's "Memphis Blues" (1912) was among the first blues songs ever published. His most famous song, "St. Louis Blues," ranks as one of the most-recorded songs of any genre.

Handy died in New York City in 1958. Handy's contributions to the blues have also been commemorated with Mississippi markers in Tutwiler, Clarksdale and Cleveland.

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