William Christopher Handy also known as W.C. Handy grew up to live in a log cabin in Alabama. He lived with his mother and father who was a minister, but was very poor. William liked to go to school and was a good student too. He liked to be at his singing class every day for one hour. He liked to think every animal had its own instrument. William worked in different jobs and often became very hungry and homeless. His clothes were very dirty that he had to throw his clothes away. One day he saw a man singing music with his guitar so he asked the man if he could play. The people listening to him were very impressed and liked the way he sang. Someone was collecting money for him, so he bought himself some new clothes. He was so good he joined the Minstrels and traveled around the USA. In one of the concerts he saw his father in the crowd and his father was yelling to everybody that William was the leader of the band. William’s father forgave him. William knew that he could earn money by making and selling his songs. His first song was “Memphis Blues”.

William received little money for his song “Memphis Blues”. When he tried to write a song, he couldn't because his children made a lot of noise so he couldn’t concentrate. One day he left his home without telling his wife, Elizabeth. He rented a room with a piano inside the room. He could hear laughing, singing, shouting, and riverboats, outside his room. The sounds gave him memories of his earlier life. The memories were a song about black plowman and of many black work gangs and single songs like, “sorrow songs” and “jubilation songs.” Once he began to write, “St Louis Blues” it seemed like it was writing itself. once he finished the song he published it right away. He earned more than $4,000 for his song. He continued to write more songs about the blues. He was the “Father of the Blues,” because he was the first person to write and publish the blues.

My opinion on W.C. Handy is that he is a very hard worker because he saved up money for stuff he wanted like instruments. He also was independent because he joined the Minstrels and traveled around the USA. Also he wrote some songs called, “sorrow songs” and “jubilation songs.” What I think about the Blues is that I think it's kind of good music because that music has its own style and is unique in its own way. I think it's kind of good music because I’ve never heard the blues before and i'm not used the blues.

  • Born in Germany in 1985
  • Created Orff instruments for elementary music classrooms
  • As a child he used music to tell stories
  • Opened a school for music and movement
  • His music was bombed during World War II - thankfully the school was closed
  • Composed during the Modern Period
  • Founded a school that focused on movement and music
  • Carmina Burana is his most famous composition


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