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.