It’s July!! Here in the Shoals we celebrate the influence of Alabama Music Hall of Fame legacy, W.C.Handy with an event we call Handy Fest. This year the celebration begins on Sunday, July 18th at Woodmont Baptist and continues through the end of the month at a variety of locations across the Shoals community. You can find a link to the schedule of events on the W.C. Handy Facebook page or website.
The Father of the Blues - William Christopher Handy, was born right here in Florence, Alabama. He attributed his musical inspiration to Cypress Creek, the wildlife, and sounds made by workers in his hometown as they completed daily tasks. He took life experiences, a hard work ethic, and the way he heard sounds and blended them together in a symphony for everyday people which impacted not only the Shoals, but changed the way our entire country hears music. He stated that it was important to appreciate the sounds and art "from the heart of the man farthest down.” I guess we all know the rest of the story: America embraced his view as well as his music.
Did you know that W.C Handy used money from berries he picked and sold along with money from various other odd jobs to purchase his first guitar? We made that berry connection with our Ethiopian bean which is found in the Muscle Shoals bag, connecting the blueberry note in the bean with the blues history through the musical bag design and blue color theme. Check it out on our product page. We love infusing pieces and the people of our unique Shoals heritage into the details of our coffee and products.
W.C. Handy’s first musical instrument purchase was short lived. After showing off his prized purchase to his father--who also happened to be a minister--he was forced to return the guitar in exchange for a dictionary. Yes, you read that right…a dictionary!! His parents eventually compromised and signed him up for organ lessons. Handy however, never compromised on his dream. He took every life experience and created music.
We want to encourage you to do the same. Grab a cup of Shoals Coffee and with some determination, refuse to compromise your dreams. We are thankful for this place we call the Shoals where life is beautiful and dreams are possible...which is why you will find the mantra “Uncommon Place, Uncommon Coffee.” on the front of every bag.