“Thoroughly rehearsed and intoxicated by the
new melody, my musicians arrived at Main and Madison riding in a band
wagon and got set to play the blues to the general public for the first
time in America… I flashed the sign and the boys gave. Feet
commenced to pat. A moment later there was dancing on the
W. C. Handy
Father of the Blues
This street corner is in Memphis, Tennessee; the
year was 1909. The song Mr. Handy’s band played was called Mr. Crump, written to support
the political career of mayoral candidate, Mr. E. H. Crump. Three
years later, in 1912, Handy published it as Memphis Blues.
It has been a long time since the corner of Main
& Madison heard this rousing melody. But as cable cars
screech and rumble past, we once again see feet tapping while Eddie
performs his acoustic guitar version of Mr. Handy’s Memphis Blues.