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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Red Hot Pepper
whiskey to the job in their back pockets. All that hurt him. Jelly spoke and preached and did everything he could.
"I want to tell you one thing/' he used to say to the boys around the Rhythm Club, "you cannot play around, just beĀ­cause you think you're so great. Im telling you those white boys are not playing corny any more. They're coming up right along. I hear them playing my tunes. They're getting the idea of how to play hot Once they get it, they're going to use it. Then they re gonna sell you for five cents a dozen. If I ask you now to go out on a gig, it's thirty-five or forty dollars for that night. But it won't be long till you 1 be around the club, standing on the comer, with your instruments under your arm and glad to get a five-dollar job."
And that's what happened, just the way he told them. Once the white boys got the idea of it, they went to town. Like Benny Goodman. To get the idea, he taken Fletcher HenderĀ­son * with him as his arranger. Then Goodman got the idea and he branched off, because then he knew what to do with the hot idea. . . , Artie Shaw, he taken Billie Holiday with him, but when he began playing the New England states, he said to Billie, "You're marvelous. You're wonderful Nobody can compare with your style, but they will not book me in the New England states with a colored entertainer."
Now, my husband didn't feel there was prejudice involved in the white bands taking jazz over; he felt it was all through the Negro musicians thinking they were so great, getting drunk on the job and not cooperating, . . .
Listening to Mabel Morton, it was hard to remember she was talking about the years between 1980 and 1989, when most American musicians were on the W.P.A. Her unawareness reflects her husband's attitude, for Mister Jelly Roll was the kind of American who refused to recognize the Depression, just as he was the kind of Negro who refused to recognize racial discrimination. He could see this much, however. Friends
* One of the hest Negro jazz arrangers.