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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Where the Birth of Jazz Originated from
range on a blues would be just exactly like a blues singer. Tony had a blues that was a favorite with him . . . Yes, Michigan water taste like sherry, I mean sherry, crazy about my sherry, Michigan water tastes like sherry wine, But Mississippi water tastes like turpentine. "Mama, mama look at sis, She's out on the levee doing the double twisT "Come in here, you dirty little sow,
You tryin to be a bad girl and you dont know how . . ." Tony happened to be one of those gentlemens that a lot of people call them lady or sissy—I suppose he was either a ferry or a steamboat, one or the other, probably you would say a ferry because that's what you pay a nickel for—and that was the cause of him going to Chicago about 1906. He liked the freedom there.
Tony was instrumental in my going to Chicago the first time, very much to my regret because there was more money at home. Anyhow he was the outstanding favorite in Chicago until I finally stayed for a battle of music that came up and I won the contest over Tony. That threw me first in line, but, even though I was the winner, I never thought the prize was given to the right party; I thought Tony should have the emblem.* We were very, very good friends and whenever he spotted me coming in the door, he would sing a song he knew I liked—Pretty Baby, one of Tony's great tunes that he wrote in nineteen thirteen or fourteen and was a million-dollar hit in less than a year . . .
You can talk about your jelly roll, But none of them compare with pretty baby, With pretty baby of mine. Tony was the favorite of all who knew him, but the poor fellow drank himself to death. Well, I'm getting way ahead of my story.
* Jelly Roll told Roy Carew that he won by making Tony nervous, leaning close and whispering, "Tony, you can't sing now. You can't sing now."