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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Orleans; it was prejudiced. I moved on to Kansas City and found it was like St. Louis, except it did not have one decent pianist and didn't want any. That was why I went on to Chicago. In Chicago at that time you could go anywhere you wanted regardless of creed or color. So Chicago came to be one of the earliest places that jazz arrived, because of nice treatment—and we folks from New Orleans were used to nice treatment.
Up to this time the published arrangements of hot music were simply a matter of writing down the ragtime tunes played by some theatre band. Then Jelly Roll Blues became so popular with the people of Chicago that I decided to name it in honor of the Windy City. 1 was the only one at the time that could play this tune, The Chicago Blues. In fact, I had a hard time trying to find anyone who could take it down. I went to Henri Klickman (author of the Hysterics Rag and arranger for the Will Rossiter publishing house), but he didn't know enough. So, finally, I wrote the score out myself. Dave Payton and several more said what I had put down was "wrong", but, when I said, "Correct me then/' they couldn't do it. We argued for days and days, but they couldn't find no holes in my tune. Finally, Klickman made an arrangement from my score and the song was published.
Immediately brass bands all over the country took it over and it was considered the hottest band arrangement anywhere. Here's the way we used to sing it at the old Elite Cafe . . .
In New Orleans, in New Orleans, Louisiana town,
There's the finest hoy for miles around,
Lord, Mister Jelly Roll, your affection he has stole.
What? No! I sho must say, babe,
You certainly cant abuse.
Isnt that a shame?
Dont you know that strain?
That's the Jelly Roll Blues.