— On this date in 1958, William Christopher Handy, considered the “Father of the Blues”, succumbed to pneumonia. Born November 16, 1873 in Florence, Alabama.
Handy received wide recognition for his 1918 classic “St. Louis Blues” which would be later adopted as a popular battle hymn in the 1930s by the Ethiopian Army during the Italian invasion.
Funeral services for Handy were held at the famed Abyssinian Church in Harlem, attended by an estimated 25.000 mourners.
(Photo: William C. “Father of the Blues” Handy’s’ 1918 classic “St..Louis Blues” would be later adopted as a popular battle hymn by the Ethiopian army during the 1930s)