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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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The tracks were treating me very dirty these days and, some­how, my luck in California was running out, due mostly to the moves of my old enemy, George Brown. Some woman in Pasadena was arrested for stealing her employer's furniture and, when the police asked her who was her boy friend, she named me. Down at the jail, when I actually met the woman, she admitted she had never seen me. One of the police told me that it was George that had helped to frame me.
One afternoon while I was playing pool, a policeman named Bobo stuck a gun in my side and told me I was under arrest. I would find out what for in jail. That was on a Monday—I remember it well, because the charge was murder. The day before an old groceryman had been killed on Fourteenth and Central, and the eyewitness, a maid, described somebody who looked exactly like me. This time 1 had no alibi, but, for­tunately, when the maid saw me, she said I was not the man.
Again I discovered that it was George Brown, the half-hand bigshot, who was responsible for naming me. I walked into his place that evening with my hand on my gun. I told George off and I was about to draw, when Bill (Bojangles) Robinson walked in, laid his hand on my arm and said very quietly, "Jelly boy, what's the matter with you? You must be going crazy.**
Bill led me out the door and took me home to Anita. A couple of days later, when we were on our way to a show, a cop stopped us and xAnita was so rattled by this time, she yelled, "We're going to the theatre, can't you leave us alone.*5
That cop turned out to be an old friend wrho just wanted to say hello, and we apologized. But, somehow or another, that was the end of California for me.
It actually came about this way. I was in the music-pub­lishing business with Reb and Johnny Spikes, whom 1 had met on the stage in the old days. Johnny played piano, and Reb, sax. They could read, but had no ideas. Occasionally I con­descended to play with these comfed musicians. Two of our early tunes became big hits and made the Spikes brothers