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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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he paid a thousand-dollar fine. By the time Jelly got that fixed, the band was broken up and gone.
He had another disappointment that year. A deal came up for his band to go to Russia. He had the band all set—Bigard, Bechet, and several more. Then they found out they couldn't send any money back out of Russia to their families and so the men refuse to go.
Anyhow, we settled down in a nice apartment in New York and Jelly started taking gigs up through the New England states with pick-up bands. I think he was also making records for some of these little secret companies and he must have had some sort of business downtown. But Jelly was always veiy close about his private business. He never told me what he made a year, and he never let me know exactly what was going on. He used to say, Tm the man of the house. You must de­pend on me." And I wasn't bothered much because we were living very, very well, like 1 told you.
I had nothing to worry about—the rent, the electric, the gas, the groceries—he'd take care of all that. He would go to the store and he would order and pay the bill by the week. Any­thing I wanted, he would have sent. And I had wonderful food for him, because I knew exactly what he liked.
His favorite was gumbo file. I would get dry bayleaves and grind them up as fine as black pepper—that was my file, my base. Then I put a big ham bone on to boil and, after while, add the file. Put in shrimp, crab, rice, and diced ham. Let that cook a while and Jelly used to holler, "Honey, let's go back home to New Orleans/'
He loved to eat, but he didn't like parties and things like that at our apartment. Thai he didn't like. Of course, I had a lot of close friends when I was in theatrical business, but it seems Jelly didn't want me to have any company. He'd take me out in the country in his car—like on a Saturday—find an old country place and go out there and stay, lie under a tree and have a big pitcher of lemonade and eat a lot of fried chicken and com on the cob—that was sport to him—he liked