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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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a speller. But he wasn't dumb like some of these fellows. He could pick up fast by ear."
It made one grin to think of the roar that would have come from Mister Jelly Lord if he had overheard this malicious remark.
"Years later/' Louis went on sourly, 'lie come to be a real good piano player. Ill give him this; he was a busy soul, a hustler. Stay a couple of weeks one place and he was ready to go. Not like us fellows. We made ourselves satisfied and let well enough alone."
Apparently Louis worked with Jelly for two weeks some­where and felt snubbed when- Jelly moved on to a better job.
"Maybe he had worked in one of those sporting-houses/* added Louis, vigorously, *1>ut before I took him over he hadn't never been on a bandstand. . . ." Right from the start, then, Jelly had "played possum" on new jobs.
Louis deLisle Nelson knew little about Jelly Roll and cared less. He went on to talk about himself. His father was from one of the up-country parishes, marching to New Orleans with the Yankees, and adopting the name Nelson from his first employer. Louis had worked in the family butcher shop until he was fif­teen, but early had "started fooling with my daddy's cor-jun. . . •
"I come to be thirteen years old and I should have already made my Confirmation," Louis said, "But I had more music in my head than catechism. Music caused me to miss my Con­firmation at eleven and then at twelve. At last, the priest tell my mama, say, "That boy's gettin too big. He's got to be Con­firmed!' So I went to studyin my catechism and at fifteen I made it.
"My sister sent me to Professor Nickerson * to study violin, but after four or five months, I got disgusted: I was paying a dollar a lesson and he just had me holding the violin—hadn't let me pull the bow across the strings one time! I told my sister, say, 'Shuh, no use to pay out that money. I ain't learning
* The same teacher jelly Roll mentioned.