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Handy | W.C. [Hughes | Langston]

Unsung Americans Sung

First Edition | First Printing



Inscribed by the “Father of the Blues,” W.C. Handy to poet Langston Hughes, the first edition of Unsung Americans Sung edited by W.C. Handy.

Tall octavo, 236pp. Publisher’s original navy blue cloth, patterned as leather with trim stamped in blind. Title in gilt on front cover. Solid text block, light wear to head and tail of spine. Faint toning to endpapers. This work pays tribute to outstanding African Americans musicians, with portraits, musical scores, and articles on Black culture and history.

Signed on the front free endpaper: “To my good friend Langston Hughes, who is the first to review this book. W.C. Handy.” Hughes’ poems are set to music on pages 188-192. An exceptional presentation copy between two great African American creatives.

W.C. Handy (1873-1958) was an American composer and the self-proclaimed “Father of the Blues.” Handy’s song “The Memphis Blues” (1912) is recognized as one of the first pieces of music to be officially published in the blues genre.

Langston Hughes (1901-1967) was an American poet, writer and activist. He wrote in a style of poetry known as “jazz poetry,” in which the poem seems improvised, similar to jazz music. This mentality connected the two artists, whose themes continuously overlapped in songs like “St. Louis Blues” by Handy and “Did You Ever Hear the Blues” by Hughes.

Both men were influential in the cultural shift of the Harlem Renaissance and the growth of African American arts in the mid-20th century.

Includes a certificate of authenticity from PSA/DNA Authentication Services.

Additional information

Location Published

New York


Handy Brothers Music Co., Inc.


First Edition, First Printing

Date Published





Very Good


Handy | W.C. [Hughes | Langston]


[Hughes | Langston]

Author Display

W.C. Handy