From the librarian’s friend, Wikipedia:
Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.
Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.
Without the blues, there would have been no Duke Ellington. There would have been no Elvis Presley. There would have been no British Invasion, and there’d be no hip hop. There’d be, in essence, no recognizable popular American music as we now know it. So, in celebration of the father of everything we listen to today, some of his music.
St. Louis Blues