In this Book

summary

David Robertson charts W. C. Handy’s rise from a rural-Alabama childhood in the last decades of the nineteenth century to his emergence as one of the most celebrated songwriters of the twentieth century. The child of former slaves, Handy was first inspired by spirituals and folk songs, and his passion for music pushed him to leave home as a teenager, despite opposition from his preacher father. Handy soon found his way to St. Louis, where he spent a winter sleeping on cobblestone docks before lucking into a job with an Indiana brass band. It was in a minstrel show, playing to racially mixed audiences across the country, that he got his first real exposure as a professional musician, but it was in Memphis, where he settled in 1905, that he hit his full stride as a composer. At once a testament to the power of song and a chronicle of race and black music in America, W. C. Handy’s life story is in many ways the story of the birth of our country’s indigenous culture—and a riveting must read for anyone interested in the history of American music.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. 2-9
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Prologue: A View of Mr. Handy: One Afternoon in Memphis, 1918
  2. pp. 3-19
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  1. Chapter One: Slavery, the AME Church, and Emancipation: The Handy Family of Alabama, 1811–1873
  2. pp. 20-31
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  1. Chapter Two: W. C. Handy and the Music of Black and White America, 1873–1896
  2. pp. 32-51
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  1. Chapter Three: Jumping Jim Crow: Handy as a Traveling Minstrel Musician, 1896–1900
  2. pp. 52-73
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  1. Chapter Four: Aunt Hagar’s Ragtime Son Comes Home to Alabama, 1900–1903
  2. pp. 74-88
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  1. Chapter Five: Where the Southern Crosses the Yellow Dog: Handy and the Mississippi Delta, 1903–1905
  2. pp. 89-108
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  1. Chapter Six: Mr. Crump Don’t ’Low: The Birth of the Commercial Blues, 1905–1909
  2. pp. 109-127
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  1. Chapter Seven: Handy’s Memphis Copyright Blues, 1910–1913
  2. pp. 128-147
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  1. Chapter Eight: Tempo à Blues: Pace & Handy, Beale Avenue Music Publishers, 1913–1917
  2. pp. 148-171
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  1. Chapter Nine: New York City: National Success, the “St. Louis Blues,”and Blues: An Anthology, 1918–1926
  2. pp. 172-195
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  1. Chapter Ten: Symphonies and Movies, Spirituals and Politics, and W. C. Handy as Perennial Performer, 1927–1941
  2. pp. 196-219
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  1. Chapter Eleven: “St. Louis Blues”: The Final Performance, 1958
  2. pp. 220-232
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 233-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-268
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 269-272
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 273-286
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780817386047
Related ISBN
9780817356965
MARC Record
OCLC
772845426
Pages
307
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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