On this date, W.C. Handy, late of Memphis, went into a studio in New York with his band and recorded his “St. Louis Blues.” Handy, known as the Father of the Blues, was one of the first composers to use the flat third and seventh notes in his compositions, which are blue notes. “St. Louis Blues” was the first blues recording to become a pop hit.
Here’s Handy’s version:
Of course, tons of musicians have covered it, as it’s part of the basic blues repertoire.
Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton:
Bessie Smith recorded a rawer version in 1925:
And the list goes on, just like the music.