Mr. Handy's Blues
“Mr. Handy’s Blues” chronicles the life of William Christopher (aka W. C.) Handy, known worldwide as the Father of the Blues. Handy’s trajectory to success is an against-all-odds odyssey that took him from a strict religious home in Northern Alabama, to a low point of despair in St. Louis, to becoming one of the most revered composers of the 20th century. Handy’s vision, love of music, and talent transforms the oral traditions of his African-American countrymen into a unique and commercial musical genre: the blues. Interviews with Taj Mahal, Bobby Rush, and Vince Giordano bring Handy’s story to life, and Handy himself is present in rare archival footage and audio. “Mr. Handy’s Blues” also features performances of Handy’s songs — including such standards as “St. Louis Blues,” “The Memphis Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues” — by current artists.
Film CategoryLeon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Music Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience Show-Me Cinema Women in Film Spotlight
SubjectAfrican American Music
Linda & Erv Rhode
Film WebsiteOfficial Website
Blues & Ragtime: The Sounds of St. Louis
The story of how ragtime music — with it local roots — became the foundation for much of modern blues, R&B, and hip-hop.