Florence in Lauderdale County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
William Christopher Handy
William Christopher Handy was born on November 16, 1873, in this two-room log cabin, which was located approximately one-half mile north of this site. In 1954, the cabin was dismantled, placed in storage, and restored to its original condition at this location in 1970. Handy grew up in Florence where his father and grandfather were Methodist-Episcopal ministers. Early in life, he developed a deep understanding and appreciation for religious music as performed in black churches. Later, he composed and published more than 30 spirituals. As a young man, Handy traveled widely, performing as a band leader and musician playing the trumpet and cornet. From 1901 to 1903, he taught music at the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College in Normal, Alabama. From 1903, to 1909, he directed the Knights of Pythias Band in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In 1909, Handy moved to Memphis, Tennessee. There, he composed the "Memphis Blues." This popular work, along with the "Saint Louis Blues," the "Beale Street Blues," and 37 other blues tunes, made him an internationally prominent figure in the music world. Handy moved to New York in 1918 and established a very successful music publishing business. He spent the next several decades actively involved in the music business while composing and performing.
Erected 2013 by Florence Historical Board.
Location. Touch for map. This marker is located next to the W.C. Handy Home/Musuem. Marker is at or near this postal address: 620 W College St, Florence AL 35630, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. W. C. Handy Birthplace (within shouting distance of this marker); Burrell Normal School (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (about 700 feet away); The Greater Mount Moriah (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dred Scott (approx. half a mile away); Karsner-Kennedy House (approx. half a mile away); Wheeler Rifles (approx. 0.6 miles away); Trinity Episcopal Church 1894 (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Also see . . .
1. W. C. Handy Birthplace, Museum & Library. (Submitted on November 6, 2015.)
2. W.C. Handy Music Festival. (Submitted on November 6, 2015.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 5, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 214 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on November 5, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.