African American History Forum
W. C. Handy- Father Of The Blues
William Christopher Handy was born on November 16, 1873, in Florence, Alabama. He grew up in a log cabin that his grandfather had built on what is now called College Street. As a young child, he displayed a keen interest in music and his intuitive ear could catalog the musical notes of songbirds, the whistles from nearby river boats, and even the rhythms of the Tennessee River. However, musical talent, especially the playing of musical instruments, was frowned upon by his family and church.