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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Money in the Tenderloin
thought, whatever happens in a family, all you have to do is take some money home and everything is all right. I then ac­cepted the job, but would not stay that night. I reported the next night promptly at the given time, nine o'clock.
The streets were crowded with men. Police were always in sight, never less than two together, which guaranteed the safety of all concerned. Lights of all colors were glittering and glaring. Music was pouring into the streets from every house. Women were standing in the doorways, singing or chanting some kind of blues—some very happy, some very sad, some with the desire to end it all by poison, some planning a big outing, a dance, or some other Mnd of enjoyment. Some were real ladies in spite of their downfall and some were habitual drunkards and some were dope fiends as follows, opium, heroin, cocaine, laudanum, morphine, etcetera. I was person­ally sent to Chinatown many times with a sealed note and a small amount of money and would bring back several cards of hop. There was no slipping and dodging. All you had to do was walk in to be served.
The girls liked their young professor and they worked the customers for big tips for me. I began to make more money than I had ever heard of in my life. I bought a new suit and a hat with the emblem Stetson in it and a pair of St. Louis Flats that turned up, 1m telling you the truth, nearly to my ankles. I was wearing these clothes on my way home to work one Sunday morning when I met my great-grandmother coming from early mass.
She looked at me and, I'm telling you, this Mimi Pechet could look a hole right through a door. "Have a good job now, Ferd? Making plenty money?"
Being very, very young and foolish, I told her what I was making. My grandmother gave me that Frenchman look and said to me in French, "Your mother is gone and can't help her little girls now, She left Amede and Mimi to their old grand­mother to raise as good girls, A musician is nothing but a bum