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

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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city of New Orleans. In this city there was a son bom to a family of French descent, known as La Menthe. The son was named Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe.. . ."
Periods as resounding as these were rolling through Mor-tons mind when he made his first visit to The Library of Congress in May of 1938. With his long Hack Lincoln, his diamonds, and his highclass clothes he scarcely looked like a good source for folklore, but his prose was irresistible. Be­sides, for the Archive of American Folksong, it was worth­while to see how traditional music had influenced the £rst jazz composer.
Mister Jely Roll, of course, had an entirely different pur­pose. History was "way out of line/' It was his mission to set it straight and to carve a suitable niche for himself in the hall of fame. So a series of recordings were agreed upon and the one-lung portable Presto recorder with its little crystal mike was set up by the piano in the Coolidge Auditorium.
Jelly Roll, unimpressed by the austere setting of the most exclusive chamber-music recitals in the world, tossed his ex­pensive summer straw on the bench of the Steinway grand, raised the lid to stash awTay the bourbon bottle, and then fei to larruping away at Ahhama Bound as cool as if guests had been announced at Gypsy Schaeffer s. The plaster busts of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms looked sternly down, but if jelly noticed them, he probably figured they were learning a thing or two.
"This is a little number I composed down in Alabama at one of the early periods, Mister Lomax—around 1901 or 1902/" Jelly said. "The frequent saying was that anyplace you was going you was bound for that place. So in fact 1 was Alabama Bound . . •
Doncha leave me here Doncha leave me here But if you just must go? Leave me a dime for beer. * • *