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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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arrived in Los Angeles. It was a funny situation. They had a brass band to meet me at the station, but, when I got off covered in all that dust? the newcomers that didn't know me asked was that the hot Jelly Roll people had talked so much about? "The first tiling this guy needs is go to the cleaners. He's got a dktY suit of clothes on.**
Well, that suit was terribly dirty, but, when 1 left Chicago, it was swell, a brand new suit. Anyway, 1 thought my trunks would be there that night when I had to start work; but they were delayed three or four days and 1 had to wear that dusty suit on the job. People thought it was strange that I had come to L.A. v^ith only one suit, and so 1 was under very, very tough criticism from the beginning. Of course, after my trunks got tbere, I turned the town out. They thought 1 was one of the movie stars, I had so many clothes-
On my opening night they had to have the police depart­ment to stop the crowd, because I had been pretty well adver­tised. Then the movie-star trade began, and we didn't have anything but movie stars at the Cadillac Cafe long as I stayed there * until my argument with Bright Red,
Bright Ked, I'd known since she was a kid. She was bom and raised in Chicago, where she had learned the art of the average entertainer—that is, when she got a big bill as a tip, to switch, it and put a small bill in its place. Those days I never looked at the keys, I always watched the entertainers. For every move they'd make, I had them, whether they were sing­ing or whether they were stealing. So, when Bright Red went south in her stocking with a ten dollar bill I demanded from the boss that she come up out of her stocking. The boss says, *TH pay the ten dollars."
#Bil Johnson played with Jelly Roll during this period- Now manager, counterman, dishwasher, and cashier o£ a cafe at the comer of Forty-fifth and Central in L.A., he said in Ms dry and humorous way . . .
"You could go by a house where jely Roll would be playing and you'd know it was him Because nobody did and nobody does play just like him. He wasn't afraid to admit ii> either . . . "Nobody playing piano I can't cut,' he used to say. The thing was he really could do what he said. He was the best, the veiy best.*9