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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Well, I sat down and began to play the New Orleans Naked Dance. All the girls begin to do high kicks and they told me, "O play it, mister, play it. Play that thing, boy/' Of course I never was a great singer, but I could do better than now. I told 'em I certainly would and then sung something like this:
All that I ask is love,
All that I want is you,
And I swear by all the stars
Til be forever true.
All that I seek to know,
All that I want above
All thai I crave in this wide, wide world,
All that I ask of you is love . . .*
I swung out on that number in my style and, when I looked around, Benny Frenchy was standing all by himself looking like he wanted to put a knife in me; Bad Sam was sort of smiling in his deal and all them little whores was running directly up to the wall and kicking back in that funny little Memphis dance. Man, I brought the house down with that thing. Don't you believe me? Think I'm kidding? I brougjit it down, man. After that Beale Street belonged to me.
As usual, of course, there was trouble with jealous people. One night when I was playing piano at Bad Sam's I happened to look around and see a fellow coming at me with a knife-it seems this guy's girl had taken a liking to me. I pulled a beer bottle up off the piano and told him, "Come on with your knife. I ain't scared of you." Of course, nobody can go up against a knife in the hand of a man who know how to use it, but, luckily for me, Coon Cant George, one of the dealers, walked in right then, pulled out that big .45 of his and the gentleman with the knife faded.
My first real job in Memphis was at the Savoy theatre operated by Fred Barasso, where I replaced the legitimate
* Composed by H. Ingraliam and E. Selden, copyright by Shapiro-Bernstein, Inc., 1908. Lyrics reprinted by permission.