The W.C. Handy Music Festival is a little over a week long celebration of the musical heritage of northwest Alabama, honoring Florence native William Christopher. Better known as W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues," his style of writing blues paved the way to become one of the most influential songwriters in the United States. While working through many jobs, W.C. Handy also made the time to form a small string orchestra as well as teach music. He would eventually land his first big hit in 1909 "The Memphis Blues." He would later move to New York to continue his success in his publishing business and songs "Beale Street Blues," "Saint Louis Blues" and many others.
The W.C. Handy Festival was an idea inspired by Dr. David Mussleman and Dr. Willie Ruff became a reality with the efforts and coordination of Edsel Holden along with music venues in Florence and surrounding Shoals area. Now in its 41st year, the festival boasted over 250 events with the efforts of the festival committee led by Tori Bailey.
Recording artist and saxophonist Dee Lucas was this year's headliner on July 30th, performing at the Norton Auditorium. Dee has been performing over two decades after getting his start performing in a local band back in 1997 and going out on his own in 1999. His latest single "Hot as Ice" was released earlier this year.
For more details visit the official W.C. Handy Music Festival Site at: https://wchandymusicfestival.com/