W.C. Handy The Father of the Blues, William Christopher Handy, was born in Florence in 1873 in a simple cabin that today houses a large collection of his personal papers, memorabilia and artifacts. Born with a natural musical bent-as a boy he visualized birdcalls as notes on a scale-Handy went on to compose such well-known blues jewels as St. Louis Blues, Beale Street Blues, and Memphis Blues. Feel the blues down to your toes standing next to the very piano that shook with St. Louis Blues for the first time; see his hand-written sheets of music-originals of many of his tunes.
Jazz your blues away for ten full days at a festival that honors The Father of the Blues. Over 250 music events set the stage for this festival that preserves, promotes and presents the musical heritage of northwest Alabama. A destination on the National Geographic Appalachian Regional Commission's Featured Sites Map, and a Top Twenty event in the Southeast US since 1986 and the 2007 Alabama Event of the Year. Held annually at the end of July, call for specific dates each year 256-766-9719 or visit the website