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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
my hands on some balls. I hauled off and hit him with a pool ball and he jumped like he was made of rubber. Then I laid into him with more balls and some billiard cues and they finally had to haul him out of there. That gave me a name. "Don't fool with Winding Boy. He like to kill Chicken Dick." I had sense enough to know it wasn't healthy to wear a name like that around New Orleans where some tough guy might decide to see how hard I really was. So I decided to accept Tony Jackson's invitation to visit Chicago.
i went North on an excursion train, landed in Chicago in 1907 and found that nobody in that town could play jazz piano. There were more jobs than I could ever think of doing, but these jobs paid so much less than in New Orleans I decided not to stay. Tony stayed on because he didn't care about money, but liked his kind of diversion and felt more free in Chicago than in his hometown. Myself, I dropped down to Houston, Texas, to see whether they had anybody could shoot a game of pool. I did a good bit of winning and then I started shooting left-handed so I could get more bets. They slipped a shark by the name of Joe Williams in on me, but right at the end of the game I switched over to my right hand and ran the game out. His backer, who had lost heavily, said I was robbing him (which was true), pulled out a pistol and started shooting. Somehow I got under the pool table, but that cured me of playing pool in Houston.
I moseyed around Texas awhile with a new girl in every town, finding nobody could play jazz in Texas. Then Nick, a sporting-life friend of mine, persuaded me to go to California with him. I went along although I knew that Nick wanted to get in with the sporting women through me. California was a nice place at the time, no discrimination, but I played very little piano except in Oxnard, a very fast-stepping town. In fact, things was so dead that I headed back to New Orleans, stopping off in Texas and Oklahoma to see my young lady friends.
By now I was beating up all the best pool players, includ-