William Christopher Handy Quotes

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W. C. Handy

Handy in July 1941, photographed by
Carl Van Vechten
Background information
Birth name William Christopher Handy
Born (1873-11-16)November 16, 1873
Florence, Alabama, United States
Origin Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Died March 28, 1958(1958-03-28) (aged 84)
New York City
Genres Blues, jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader, teacher
Instruments Trumpet
Years active 1893–1948

With a guitar I would be able to express the things I felt in sounds.
I think America concedes that true American music has sprung from the Negro.
William Christopher Handy
Nature was my kindergarten.
You’ve got to appreciate the things that come from the art of the Negro and from the heart of the man farthest down.
William Christopher Handy
The name of my ailment was longing, and it was not cured till I finally went to the department store and counted out the money in small coins before the dismayed clerk. When I came to the house, I held up the instrument before the eyes of the astonished household.
William Christopher Handy
Whenever I heard the song of a bird and the answering call of its mate, I could visualize the notes in scale, all built up within my consciousness as a natural symphony.
William Christopher Handy
Saving was slow and painful.
Life is something like a trumpet. If you don’t put anything in, you won’t get anything out.
William Christopher Handy
I knew the whistle of each of the river boats on the Tennessee.
Life is like a trumpet – if you don’t put anything into it, you don’t get anything out of it.
William Christopher Handy
My big ears indicated a talent for music. This thrilled me.
The blues - the sound of a sinner on revival day.
Setting my mind on a musical instrument was like falling in love. All the world seemed bright and changed.
William Christopher Handy