Father of the Blues and Father of AFB

While working in the Migel Library recently, one of our librarians made an amazing find. A signed copy of Father of the Blues, the autobiography of W.C. Handy, inscribed to Mr. and Mrs. Migel! W. C. Handy (1873-1958) was a blues composer and musician, and is credited with giving blues its modern form. He wrote the songs "Memphis Blues" and "St. Louis Blues." Handy temporarily lost his sight after WWI, but partially regained it in the 1920s. A fall from a subway platform in October 1943 took what sight he had left. Just a few months after he lost all sight, he inscribed this book.

The inscription reads:
Major & Mrs. M.C. Migel
with sincere appreciation
W.C. Handy
May 29, 1944

We do not know the circumstances of the association between Migel and Handy. If you have any ideas, let us know!


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