W.C. Handy Encounters the Blues
Part of the Mississippi Blues Trail, this historical marker was dedicated by the Mississippi Blues Commission in 2009.
The remains of the train station near the marker where Handy first encountered the style of music he would later be credited with inventing.
Backstory and Context
According to Handy, he was managing a band and traveling throughout the Delta when he first encountered the blues sound "one night in Tutwiler." "As I nodded in the railroad station while waiting for a train that had been delayed nine hours," Handy explained, "life suddenly took me by the shoulder and wakened me with a start."
Handy recalled that the man sang the lyric "Goin’ where the Southern cross’ the Dog." three times. It was "the weirdest music I ever heard." Handy later recreated the sound with the song he titled "Yellow Dog Blues." The song was a hit, and the style of music grew in popularity throughout the South.