Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
My Folks Was All Frenchmans
As I can understand, my folks were in the city of New Orleans long before the Louisiana Purchase, and all my folks came directly from the shores of France, that is across the world in the other world, and they landed in the new world years ago.
I remember so far back as my great-grandmother and great­grandfather. My great-grandfather's name was Emile Pechet —he was considered one of the largest jewelers in the South. My great-grandmother was Mimi Pechet—she traveled quite extensively and died when I was grown, at around one hundred years old. As soon as I can remember those folks, they was never able to speak a word in American or English.
My grandmother, her name was Laura. She married a French settler in New Orleans by the name of Henri Monette —a wholesaler of fine liquors and cordials—that was my grand­father. And neither one of them spoke American or English.
My grandmother bore sons named Henri, Gus, Neville and Nelusco—all French names; and she bore the daughters Louise, Viola, and Margaret—that was the three daughters. Louise, the oldest daughter, so fair she could always pass, married F. P. La Menthe, also an early settler and considered one of the outstanding contractors and demolishers in the entire South. Louise happened to be my mother, Ferd (Jelly Roll) Morton.
Of course, I guess you wonder how the name Morton came in, by it being an English name. Well, 111 tell you. I changed it for business reasons when I started traveling. I didn't want to be called Frenchy. It was my godmother, Eulalie Echo, helped to name me the christened name of Ferdinand, which