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Jump Back in Time Progressive Era (1890-1913)
'The Memphis Blues'
Here is the sheet music to Handy's first hit, "The Memphis Blues"

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William Christopher Handy's "Memphis Blues" Was Published
September 28, 1912

Do you listen to the blues? If you haven't, you've definitely heard music influenced by the blues (a song of sadness in which the second line often repeats the words of the first). Artists such as John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Koko Taylor have made that sultry blues sound legendary, but before them, William Christopher Handy, the "Father of the Blues," brought the African-American folk tradition into mainstream music. The publication of his song "The Memphis Blues" on September 28, 1912, changed the course of American popular song.

By the 1960s, the blues sound had significantly influenced the development of jazz, classical music, and the rock and roll of such performers as Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones. Do the blues influence any of your favorite songs?

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