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
a chance to reap no harvest, because we didn't have the nerve. We had made just enough for our train tickets.
Going up on the train, Jack the Bear had some kind of a fake pin in the lapel of his coat, and everytime he would get to one of those real simple colored people who had on any kind of a pin, he would walk up to him and cover the pin with his hands and say, "I got you covered now. If you can't tell me the secret oath of the fiftieth degree of this order, I will have to remove your pin. You are really violating the lodge rules, and I will have to have some money not to condemn you. . . ."
From time to time Jack would pick up a couple of dollars doing that kind of thing.
Anyway we got into Helena, Arkansas across the river. I started playing pool and I beat a few of the supposed-to-be sharks around there, left-handed. So they had a lot of stool pigeons around and the blue suit I had on, it was getting greasy then because it wasn't pressed up so much and, by rearing the same suit all the time, I guess it had a bad odor. So a fellow, one of these stool pigeons, marked chalk on my back. That was to designate to the policemens that I was a stranger in town and a shark.
Pretty soon a policeman tapped me on the shoulder, said, "Where did you come from?"
I wasn't so afraid of policemens, because I had seen so many of them in New Orleans and I knew policemens was just anĀ­other kind of man, in a sense. But I always knew I had to respect authority, and I respected him very much. If I hadn't respected him, it would have been very, very bad for me, beĀ­cause I had learned it didn't take them very much time in shooting you down.
So I told him that I had come from Clarksdale, which didn't mean a thing. I told him that a little down the line I came from Yazoo. So he said to me, he said, "I want you shuck-sharks and crooks to get out of town."
I said, "I am very sorry, but I'm a musician."
He said, "A musician don't mean anything down in here. We