Today in Blues History
This Day in Blues
September 28, 2018
1912: The publication of William Christopher Handys Memphis Blues on September 28, 1912, changed the course of American popular music by introducing African-American folk blues into mainstream music.
Handy originally wrote the song, combining blues and ragtime, as a campaign song for E.H. Crump (original title of the song was Mister Crump), which led to Crumps election as mayor of Memphis.
The song went on sale at Brys Department Store in Memphis on Saturday, September 28, 1912. The first 1,000 copies were sold in three days, but the published claimed the song was a flop and bought it for just fifty dollars, swindling Handy of his first big hit.
Handy went on to write St. Louis Blues in 1914, Beale St. Blues in 1916, and many other songs, leading to his being recognized as the Father of the Blues. [Some information from the [external link to the] Library of Congress]
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