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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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Red Hot Pepper
pose the Musicians Union and the gangsters to the United States Attorney, . . . The big corporations had taken over jazz and ruined Jelly Roll, that was his theme, and he would speak on it for hours. Some of his personal stories reflected feelings of neurotic persecution, yet, in a larger sense, the years have shown that Jelly Roll was right.
Jazz became a big business in the early thirties, and JeEy Roll, who had been a big wheel in 1923, was a small-time op­erator in 1983. Every year there was to be less room for the inspired and careless talent of the past. What the big money boys needed were efficient music machines who would tarn it out every day—quantity, instead of quality. There was cer­tainly no room for a Negro who claimed, with some Justice, to have originated much of jazz.
The economic source of Ms troubles Jelly Roll would not recognize—the boom, that had set diamonds on his garters, was bust. Depression America could afford Jelly no longer, nor did it care to listen to the joyous and confident music he found along the shining avenues of his idealized New Orleans* Ghetto Negroes wanted the real blues which stated their agony openly. The rest of the country wras being rocked into a rosy dream by such ballads as The Isle of Capri, Night and Dayy and The Gold Mine in the Sky.
Jelly Roll had quarreled with the boys in the band and they wouldn't go along with him. They preferred to work for younger, more flexible, more race-conscious, even if less in­spired, leaders—leaders who compromised and who got the fobs. Mister Jelly Roll had high-hatted the Negro world, and now the white world, into which he had entered briefly, closed its doors. He was out on the cold dark streets of the Depression holding on to his musical integrity with an almost insane Creole pride, and he was all by himself.
Since he could not see where he had been at fault, nor where, hi a much larger sense, his culture tad failed him, he turned, back as he always did to his roots in New Orleans, finding, in the childhood fears his New Orleans godmother had