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W.C. Handy’s Orchestra, in Memphis, circa 1910


Handy’s Orchestra

This is the orchestra the year after they’d moved from Clarksdale, Mississippi, where they had been the Knights of Pithias Orchestra, and about four years before Handy adapted “Mr. Crump Don’t ‘Low” into “The Memphis Blues” and discovered that there was a fortune to be made in publishing blues music. ¬†Handy moved to New York in 1917, with the remaining members of his orchestra playing for years as Handy’s Band (William Faulkner drew a picture of them playing at parties at Ole Miss) and several members recorded as the Beale Street Frolic Orchestra when Victor Records made their first field trip to record in Memphis.

From the Commercial Appeal, via Preston Lauderbach on Facebook. 

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