Known as the "Father of the Blues," this son of an Alabama minister was expected to follow in his father's footsteps. Music was his first love. He wrote songs original in style and rich in imagery. His works described the despair and sorrow of the slaves. With lyricist Harry Pace, Handy formed in 1907 the Pace and Handy Music Company Publishers, which moved to New York City in 1918. The firm fell in the face of competition and Handy began the Handy Brothers Music Company a few years later. His is best known for the St. Louis Blues. Handy traveled the country with his band. He was successful as a composer, conductor, and trumpet player.