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Red Hot F*&pper
That was in November, 1923, at the sign of Justice McGuire on the highway. Just me and the judge and Jelly Roll. Afterwards we drove to Kansas City and took hi the night spots and different things and i saw that everybody knew him there in K.C. We stayed there a month (Benny Moten w*as playing there, I remember, at the time) and then drove on into New York, and stayed with friends on 135th street in Harlem.
In 1929 and 1930 I lived on the road with him. He had a beautiful bus for the band with a sign on the outside— JELLY ROLL MORTON AND HIS RED HOT PEPPERS-but he and 1 traveled in the Lincoln. 1 guess the only trouble we ever had wras over htm going sixty-five around all those curves. That made me very nervous. He used to Md me and say, "May, Im gonna leave you at home. , . . Don*t you know I love myself better than anybody else in the wTorld and 1 ain't never gonna have an accident when Im driving the car?** Of course, he never did have an accident; and if a cop stopped him he could smooth-tali his way right out of it just like they were relatives.
Ferd did all his own bookings by letter or in person. Fifteen-hundred and sixteen-hundred dollars was about an average night's pay for the band and lots of time they would stay a whole week one place. He had his records: he showed them where he was Number One hot band with Victor. And when they heard that band, they wanted him back. He had Barney Bigard, Albert Nicholas, Red Allen, Wellman Braud, and other great men long before Ellington and those other bands was ever heard of. They broke all records in Pennsylvania, Indiana,