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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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But I don't know that they could go there as guests. If they was a piano player like Jelly Roll Morton or Tony Jackson in there playing, an ordinary musician could go and set side the piano and chat with them, in between numbers. . . /'
"So those piano players were the boys who frequented those houses the most?9*
"Yes, they were/7 and Johnny went on, "And they made the best money. Nothing but money men come in those highclass houses and they just as soon tip you a five-dollar bill as a dol­lar, if they was in the mood and the music was good. So a piano player knock down around fifteen and eighteen dollars a night and not have to work too hard. They were lone wolves; every penny come in, they kept. That way they made better than us boys in the bands. That was Jelly's class. . . /'
Here Jelly Roll, the lone wolf, found his road. Piano keys opened doors into a white world where the other boys in the bands could not follow. This bordello world gave him money and fine clothes and raised him above his brother musicians. His notoriety set him apart from the common musicians of Storyville. The Frenchman's, not 25's, became his hangout. And this was why few of the boys in the bands remembered Jelly Roll in his New Orleans days.
"Those fellows you been talking to didn't know Jelly," af­firmed Bunk Johnson, who started working in the District in 1897. "See, Jelly played only in white houses in those days. They couldn't play there. But him and Tony Jackson did. They'd have Tony one night and Jelly the next. Albert Cahill, Freddy Washington, Harrison Ford, and Jimmy Arcey played those places, too. All of them boys always wore fine clothes, had plenty money and plenty diamond rings.
"Jelly was one of the best in 1902 and after that," Bunk went on, "Noted more so than Tony Jackson and Albert Cahill because he played the music the whores liked. Tony was dicty. But Jelly would sit there and play that barrelhouse music all night—blues and such as that. 1 know because I played with him in Hattie Rogers sporting-house in 1903. She had a whole