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
was sitting around 25*s and a maid from Miss Burt's house walked in and said their regular piano player was sick. "Would I like to make a few dollars?'7
Of course, I accepted and you never saw such a well man as I was that night when I sat down at the grand piano in Hilma Burt's mansion. Right away Miss Burt liked my style of music and she told me, "If you think you can come steady, I will be glad to have you/'
In a week I had plenty money, but I never thought of paying Papa Sona for what he did, because I never really believed he had helped me. I should have realized that he used some very powerful ingredients. I should have been more appreciative, for I have lived to regret this ungrateful action.
Hilma Burt's was on the corner of Custom House and Basin Street, next door to Tom Anderson's Saloon—Tom Anderson was the king of the district and ran the Louisiana legislature, and Hilma Burt was supposed to be his old lady. Hers was no doubt one of the best-paying places in the city and I thought I had a very bad night when I made under a hundred dollars. Very often a man would come into the house and hand you a twenty- or forty- or a fifty-dollar note, just like a match. Beer sold for a dollar a bottle. Wine from five to ten, depending on the kind you bought. Wine flowed much more than water— the kind of wine I'm speaking about I don't mean sauterne or nothing like that, I mean champagne, such as Cliquot and Mumm's Extra Dry. And right there was where I got my new name—Wining Boy.*
When the place was closing down, it was my habit to pour these partly finished bottles of wine together and make up a
* Wining (pronounced with a long I) is the term Jelly preferred to Winding, for reasons that Johnny St. Cyr makes quite clear. In fact Johnny was more than a shade embarrassed when asked what the nick-name meant. He said, ". . . Winding Boy is a bit on the vulgar side. Let's see—how could I put it-means a fellow that makes good jazz with the women. See Jelly lived a pretty fast life. In fact, most of those fellows round the District did. They were all halfway pimps anyway . . . Jelly's Winding Boy tune was mighty popular in the early days."