W.C. Handy And The Blues

 W.C. Handy And The Blues

As we’re in the midst of Black History Month, we are reminded of the contributions that African Americans have made to our culture, country and world.  One great offering is the creation of The Blues.

The Blues was born in the Mississippi Delta.  This genre is not only about feeling sad or down, but also about overcoming obstacles and enjoying life.  You can experience it in area juke joints and learn about it in Delta museums.  This music was created by local African-Americans who worked tirelessly to make a life in the Delta. 

One day in 1903, a band director, named W.C. Handy, happened upon a man in a train depot in Tutwiler, Mississippi, playing a guitar in a way uncommon to him.  He first heard what he would later call the blues.  A few years later, he was asked to play some “native music” and he and his brass band created a foundation of what is now known as the Blues and he the “Father of the Blues.”

Tunica’s newest museum showcases W.C. Handy’s original cornet that he used when writing songs like “Memphis Blues.”  Tunica is your gateway to great history on this genre of music that influences all types of artists and musicians to this day.  To learn more about Handy and other blues artists like Charley Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson and B.B. King, as well as see an extensive collection of guitars, visit the new Gateway to the Blues Museum to begin your tour of The Blues in the Delta.  Come celebrate some great people not just during Black History Month, but all year long.

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