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WC handy and trumpet

W.C. Handy {format} {format} 8:55 Barrett Golding

W.C. Handy 1912 sheet music for his "Memphis Blues" was the first blues published. Over the next few decades his songs would make the Billboard charts dozens of times. His "St. Louis Blues" alone was a hit for the Mills Brothers, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Guy Lombardo, Rudy Valee, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, and nine other bands. In 1958, when he died, 150,000 people lined the streets of New York City for his funeral. [transcript]

Broadcast: Feb 15 2005 on NPR Day to Day Subjects: Music, Historical, Blues