Will Handy grows up in Memphis with his preacher father and his Aunt Hagar. His father intends for him to use his musical gifts only in church, but Will can’t stay away from the music of the streets. After he writes a theme song for a local politician, Gogo, a speakeasy singer, convinces Will to be her accompanist. Will is estranged from his father while he writes and publishes many blues songs. At last, after many years, the family is reunited when Gogo brings them to New York to see Will’s music played by a symphony orchestra.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture