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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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on his carrying our marriage license and wouldn't never give it to me to keep. 1 used to ask him why couldn't I have it framed and put it up on the wall and he'd tell me, "Look, now, May, the way we travel up in Massachusetts and all that where they have those strict laws about entertainers being really married, i need to carry this license at all times. I'm the man of the house and you just let me bother about these things." So I didn't worry my head about it and let it go. I was just dumb to the fact, that's all I can say now.
At that time, though, what could I think? I had everything in the world I wanted and I never had any trouble with Jelly and other women. I never heard anything about him and another woman, not even in Harlem, and you know if there had been something I'd have heard it in that place. Anita? I never heard of her till later.
No, the truth about Mister Jelly Roll Morton—the actual facts about Mister Jelly Roll Morton was that he was not what you call a very high-sexed man. No, not a very high-sexed man. It was just once in a while with him. When that mood would strike him, yes, but otherwise he was too wrapped up in his own music. Often he told me he had no time for such foolish­ness; he had other things to think about. He used to go to bed thinking about music and get up whistling, dotting down those dots and poking those piano keys.
At night, after he had his supper, he wanted it perfectly quiet so he could compose. He was a man that worked all the time. He was always busy. And any time of the night an idea would strike him, he get right up and start dotting it down, dotting it down.
All during these years, from 1930 to 1933, after his regular band broke up, Jelly kept busy and made good money playing gigs up through the New England states. But he began to have more and more trouble getting the cooperation of the colored musicians. They wanted to play everything but what he had dotted down. They thought they could bring a bottle of