W.C. Handy changed the course of popular music by integrating blues and Latin rhythms he heard in vaudeville minstrel shows into then-popular ragtime music. He was a bedrock musician in blues, ragtime, and jazz. He brought Southern Black music into the mainstream by copyrighting old songs along with his new compositions.
As a young child, Handy displayed a keen interest in music and his intuitive ear could catalog the musical notes of songbirds, the whistles from nearby river boats, and even the rhythms of the Tennessee River.
The King of Ragtime.
A pivotal artist during the transition from ragtime to jazz.
A uniquely American syncopated music and precursor to jazz.