Attempt at a Jelly Roll Morton Chronology
Update 08/19/15 adding information from the late great Lawrence Gushee’s 1985 article cited below.
Note: I assembled this around 2008, in an attempt to collate everything I had access to about Jelly Roll Morton. So much important new research was appearing year after year: the long-awaited publication of William Russell’s life-long Morton research in 2000; Pastras on the California years in 2003, Gushee in 2001 and 2005, Rounder’s Library of Congress box set, and the late Mike Meddings’s comprehensive website, which itself became a net for all sorts of Morton researchers.
CD = Chicago Defender
DJ = liner notes to Doctor Jazz: Complete Library of Congress Recordings (Rounder); John Szwed
DMB = Dead Man Blues;Phil Pastras (University of California Press)
Hanley = Peter Hanley, independent researcher, published on MSS
JB = Jelly’s Blues; Howard Reich and William Gaines
MJL = Mister Jelly Lord; Laurie Wright (Storyville Publications)
MJR = Mister Jelly Roll; Alan Lomax, with Jelly Roll Morton
MSS = Monrovia Sound Studio www.doctorjazz.co.uk; ed. Mike Meddings
OMJ = Oh, Mr. Jelly! A Jelly Roll Morton Scrapbook; William Russell
PC = A Preliminary Chronology of Jelly Roll Morton’s Early Career; Lawrence Gushee (American Music Vol. 3, No. 4 (Winter, 1985), pp. 389-412
POJ = Pioneers Of Jazz; Lawrence Gushee
Quotations from Morton are in quotes and italics.
My relations were native of France they were somewhat rich, settled in N.O. shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, more than 125 years ago [c. 1813]. (source? – MJL?)
c. Feb 1864 birth of Morton’s godmother Eulalie Hecaud. (Hanley)
Nov. 7, 1865 birth of Morton’s father Edward Joseph Lamothe (Hanley)
Dec 1872? Birth of Louise Monette, mother, Orleans Parish (OMJ 89)
April 13, 1883 birthdate of Bessie Johnson (aka Anita Gonzales), in Montgomery, Alabama. (Hanley)
Sep. 20, 1885 Morton birth date written in 1938 autobiography (OMJ 42) and given to David Stuart in 1940 (OMJ 130) and given to Alan Lomax.
1886 Birth date once given by Morton’s sister Amide (OMJ 345)
Dec. 23, 1888, Birth of Mabel Bertrand. (Hanley)
1889 Morton’s birth date as given by his two sisters (OMJ 345)
Sep. 20, 1890 Hanley’s considered opinion of Morton’s birth date.
Oct. 20, 1890 Morton birth date found by Gushee in baptismal record at St. Joseph’s Church, New Orleans.
Morton was the illegitimate child of a 19-year-old illiterate domestic worker.
His father was a bricklayer, mason. “There is no evidence that he had any contact with his son Jelly Roll Morton, after their paths crossed in Houston, Texas, in 1913.” Hanley
His stepfather was a day laborer, also illiterate.
Morton family at 1443 Frenchman St. at Robertson. “That is where I was born and reared.” (OMJ 38)
“My first tutoring was on the guitar, my godmother was solely responsible for that.” (OMJ 38)
1892 Dink Johnson, brother of Anita and Bill, born.
Feb. 5 1894 Morton’s parents are married in New Orleans (OMJ 89, Hanley)
c. 1896 Piano lessons with Miss Moment, of St. Joseph Catholic College. (OMJ 132) (OMJ 38)
c. 1897 Piano lessons with Frank Richards, older boy (OMJ 132)
c. 1897 Amide Mouton, sister, born
c. 1900 Frances Mouton, sister, born
Attends St. Joseph’s Academy (OMJ 92) (OMJ 132)
c. 1898 Morton ill of health, working in a sugar factory (OMJ 132)
c. 1901 Morton goes to live with his godmother Eulalie Hacaud.
c. age 11: “My godmother lived in the uptown section of New Orleans which was known as the Garden District.” (OMJ 39)
May 24, 1906 Death of Morton’s mother, Louise Monette, age 35, of tuberculosis. (Hanley) “Mother died when I was about fourteen and left my uncle as guardian.” (OMJ 39) (which would put Morton’s birth year around 1892.)
Date? Hard times. “The estate was being mortgaged, and Grandfather was losing his liquor business. My favorite horse died (Tom), during a very drastic September electric storm. I went to the Brooklyn Cooperage Company to get a job.” “My Godmother had her country home in Biloxi, MS, and in the summertime I would go over on the Sunday excursion to see her.” (OMJ 40)
Date? Morton c. 17 years of age. Morton hanging out at the Frenchman’s (1533 Bienville), a cabaret wine bar where pianists congregated, at the corner of Bienville and Villere. (OMJ 44) The Frenchman’s was owned by French-born John Laban (MSS). Also at other honky-tonks. (OMJ 133)
Date? Morton 18 years of age. Leaves home. Travels to Biloxi, Gulfport, and Mobile.
1904 St. Louis Exposition
c. 1906 earliest photo
date? Takes lessons with Professor Nickerson, (OMJ 38) a strict man (OMJ 122), a downtown colleague of Piron and Robichaux (OMJ 152). Other early teachers mentioned are Miss Moment (when he was about 11?) and teenage blues pianist Frank Richards (when Morton was 12 or 13). (OMJ 132)
1908? Morton at 1519 Iberville, a sporting house run by “Pinky” (121) Spends a lot of time shooting pool at Big 25’s. (OMJ 336)
Morton at Lulu White’s (OMJ 124) (OMJ 311) Morton at the Arlington House. (OMJ 482) Morton at Mamie Christine’s on Basin Street. (OMJ 553)
? 1903-5 Plays with Bunk Johnson at various places around the District (OMJ 340)
Plays with Freddie Keppard in Memphis.
With a friend, hops a train to Mobile; is arrested and sentenced to 100 days labor and $100 fine. They escape and hobo back to New Orleans. (OMJ 137)
Employed by Hilma Burt (OMJ 138)
1908 Tours the South with William and Alberta Benbow, a possibly 10 person vaudeville company. (MSS, “p. 10”)
1909 Travels to Houston, works for Thelma Benton’s sporting house.
Tours a bit with African American blackface Vaudeville legend Billy Kersands (in his “last days”). (OMJ 143)
Opens the Air-Dome Theatre in Houston, produces stock shows with many performers: Sandy Burns, Jesse Campbell, Rosie Brown, Patterson & Patterson, Baby Seals, and others. (OMJ 143)
More touring, into the Midwest (Kansas City, Oklahoma City)
Touring the Gulf Coast with Mack & Mack (OMJ 344)
Takes one day trip to Los Angeles by train. (OMJ 145)
c. March 21, 1911 death of stepfather William Mouton (Hanley)
Around 1911 Reb Spikes meets Morton in Oklahoma. Morton is a blackface comedian, already with Rosa Brown? (OMJ 550)
1912 Works in St. Louis as a singer at the Democratic Club. (OMJ 144)
1912 Morton joins the Spikes Brothers with McCabe’s Troubadours in Kansas City. He stays with them three or four months, touring Kansas and Missouri. (OMJ 550)
“Around 1912” Morton visits New York, possibly Atlantic City (OMJ 448) around 1911 (OMJ 483)
1913 Easter Sunday “Gyp the Blood” (aka Charles Harrison) kills Billy Phillips, closing down the District for a while. See Charles Ives’ piece “Gyp the Blood” or Hearst:Which is Worse?!”
1913? Meets Lovie Austin at the Monogram Theatre in Chicago.
Date? Appears in Wild West shows with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill, develops trick rifle shooting. (OMJ 102)
Tours with performers: Mattie Dorsey (“one of the Whitman sisters”), Porter and Porter, Stella Taylor, Harry Jefferson, Laura Smith, Bessie LaBelle. (OMJ 142)
Employed by Hilma Burt
1913 touring with Rosa Brown as “Morton & Morton,” a blackface comedy act. Photographed in blackface with Rosa Brown.
Aug. 9, 1913 notice of Morton in the Indianapolis Freeman: “Ferd and Rosa Morton are still doing nicely. They are the drawing card of the Pratt Bros. Vendome [in Greenville, TX], playing to packed houses nightly.” (MSS p.10)
1914 Jelly Roll is working in the Elite No. 1 in Chicago, according to Charles Elgar. (OMJ 353)
1914 Reb Spikes says he saw Morton play at a little cabaret in L.A. in 1914. (OMJ 119)
June 13, 1914 Indianapolis Freeman. Morton takes out an ad in the June 27 issue. (OMJ 476)
CD Aug 29 1914 Morton musical director of show at Richelieu (nee Pompeii) Café and Buffet.
1915 Some reports have Morton being in San Francisco around this time. At the World’s Fair, for instance. (OMJ 119)
1915 Rooming with New Orleans pianist Sam Davis in Chicago, Dallas, and Detroit (!) (OMJ 332)
Many people attest to gambling being Morton’s primary occupation during this period.
Sep. 22, 1915 Will Rossiter, Chicago music publisher, copyrights Original Jelly Roll Blues.
1916 Morton at The Palace, Chicago, owned by Jack Johnson. (OMJ 391)
1916 Morton at a nickelodeon in East St. Louis, accompanying silent movies. (OMJ 493)
1917 Morton sends for Buddy Petit, Frankie Duson, and Wade Whaley to come to Los Angeles. With Dink Johnson, they play at Leak’s Lake in Watts, a benefit for Liberty Bonds at the Shriners’ Auditorium, the Penny Dance Hall on Central Ave, Baron Long’s in Watts. (OMJ 116)
c. 1917-18 Morton with the Panama Trio (incl. Bricktop and Florence Mills) at the Cadillac Café, Los Angeles. (OMJ 393)
1917 “I was also in politics when George Brown was the boss of the colored section. I ran the Big 4 club at 12th and Central. I worked at the Cadillac Café, Central bet 5th and 6th near the S.P. depot.”
1918 Jelly and Anita open a club in San Francisco named the Jupiter, at Columbus and Pacific. It quickly closes after police harassment. (OMJ 116)
1918 Photo of Morton with friends in San Francisco
CD Feb 23, 1918 Morton with the Creole Band in San Diego. Also with Bessie LaBelle at Waldorf, Los Angeles.
Nov. 11, 1918 end of WWI
CD Feb 22, 1919 Morton living in San Francisco
Around 1920; Morton and Dink Johnson spontaneously go to Chicago (for a couple days?). They sit in at the Elite Club on State Street. (OMJ 118)
CD June 25, 1921 Morton and band at Paradise Garden, Los Angeles. (through August)
CD Oct 15, 1921 Morton and band at Kansas City Bar in Tia Juana, MX.
CD Nov. 5, 1921 Morton leads an ensemble at the huge and lavish U.S Grant Hotel in San Diego. They are fired when Morton acts up. (?) (OMJ 118) (OMJ 397)
CD April 29, 1922 Morton sends Oliver home to Chicago with a party at Wayside Park.
April 1923 “I left L.A. I believe April 1923.” ((OMJ 45)
In Chicago (early 20’s?) gambles at Ed Victor’s Barber Shop, Clarence Williams’ music store, the Musician’s Union, and the Pioneer Club (OMJ 312).
early 20’s “working around Chicago like a lone wolf [not with a band]” (OMJ 128)
Jelly convinces Brunswick to record his band for their label, not their “race” offshoot Vocalion. They agree and also agree to pay the musicians $4 each for rehearsals! Then the deal falls through. (OMJ 128)
1923 Records for Okeh in Chicago with Natty Dominique, Buster Bailey, and Zue Robertson, in “a studio down by the Loop.” London Blues (OMJ 376)
This ensemble tours the Midwest, “about three months,” playing dances, with Balls Ball substituting for Bailey. (OMJ 377)
July 17-18, 1923 records with N.O.R.K. for Gennett.
c. April 1924 between 1 and 3 sessions at Marsh Laboratories, (“not a very large room, about twenty feet square, fairly well padded, they had a few screens, no microphones but recorded into a horn, on about the fourth or fifth floor of the Lyon and Healy building at Jackson and Wabash.” – OMJ 358) Chicago, IL, for Paramount, resulting in quartet and solo piano sides. (MJL 26)
1924 Records for Paramount in Chicago, produced by J. Mayo Williams. (OMJ 356)
Jelly at The Owl Theatre on State Street, Chicago, with maybe two other instruments, playing for silent movies. (OMJ 357)
c. Dec 1924 Oliver and Morton electrically record at Marsh (King Porter, Tom Cat), for Autograph, using a twelve-inch microphone. (OMJ 358, MJL 30)
c. May 1925 another (electrical?) duet session at Marsh for Autograph, this time with white clarinetist Voltaire de Faut (My Gal, Wolverine Blues).
“The time we made the Wolverine Blues, Walter Melrose got hold of a guy someplace and he came up with a comb and a piece of tissue paper to play on My Gal. It was terrible. I know Jelly didn’t like it, and I didn’t like it. That was strictly Walter’s idea. I remember that definitely.” Voltaire DuFaut, 1970. (OMJ 389)
Spring 1925 Oliver at the Plantation Club in Chicago, Morton occasionally sits in. (OMJ 321)
Albert Nicholas says at this time Morton didn’t drink or smoke. (OMJ 322)
Spring 1925. Morton’s sister Frances spends six months with Morton in Chicago. On Wabash St. Owned a baby grand! He tells her he’s 28 years old, implying that he lied about his age to appear younger (!). In October he orders her to return to New Orleans, for fear of the cold weather. As she leaves he plays Irving Berlin’s Always. (OMJ 88)
c. 1925 hanging out “for a season” in Milwaukee, plays at a little roadhouse, meets Omer Simeon. (vis. Eleanor Simeon) (OMJ 361)
date? records with Ory for Victor in Chicago. They rehearse a couple times at the Musician’s Union Local and at Melrose’s. They record at the Webster Hotel on the North Side. (OMJ 125) (OMJ 363)
CD Feb 13, 1926 ad for Okeh All Star Night at the Coliseum: Morton, Oliver, Armstrong, Williams
Sep 21, 1926 Chicago, IL Recording session for Victor
Dec. 16, 1926 Chicago, IL Recording session for Victor
c. 1927 Morton’s show at The Alhambra, Chicago.
June 4, 1927 Chicago, IL Recording session for Victor
June 10, 1927 Chicago, IL Recording session for Victor
1925-27 Touring around the Midwest: St. Louis, Milwaukee, Gary, Pittsburgh, etc. (OMJ 366; 542) Morton working for MCA. (OMJ 542)
Punch Miller joins the band around here; it has two vocalists and a second pianist.
also at Harlem Opera House in New York, 125th St.
also at the Jeffrey Tavern (OMJ 366)
also sometime between 1925-31 (!) fronting Sunshine Sammy’s show. Sammy was in the “Our Gang” comedies.
Around here: plays two weeks at the Rose Danceland in Harlem, NY, “a taxi-dance hall, a nickel or dime a dance” (513)] with Paul Barbarin. (OMJ 313) Omer Simeon joins him for a week in 1928, and records with the band for Victor. (OMJ 360)
Around here? Morton living in Lottie Joplin’s rooming house, 127th St., NY. When she passes, Wilbur Sweatman takes over the Joplin estate. (OMJ 510)
Around here? Morton to Carew, Jan. 14, 1941: “The union has also demanded us to pay $45 from a jumped up frame-up in 1928-29.” 14 days later he writes: “Some men tried to break up my band on the road in 1928, and I preferred charges against them by W[estern] U[nion] Wire, 200 words, this wire was destroyed by the union as well as W.U. , and later I found charges was placed against me by two of the group, for $70 a piece…”
June 4th 1927 Chicago, IL Recording for Victor
June 11, 1928 Mammoth session for Victor; Liederkranz Hall, New York.
Around here? Hires Luis Russell’s band (with Albert Nicholas, Red Allen, Pops Foster) for a series of one nighters in Pennsylvania. Pays Russell, too, to stay home. (OMJ 316)
Nov. 1928 Luis Russell recommends Paul Barnes to Morton, who hires him. Morton opens at the Rose Danceland in NY. (OMJ 462) He takes over the William Benford band, who were already playing at the Rose Danceland. (OMJ 512)
Dec 6, 1928 Recording session for Victor.
Very hard tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio in 1929; ten piece band traveling in Morton’s bus. They play one-nighter dances, in tuxedos, with stock arrangements and cardboard music stands. (OMJ 464)
July 9, 1929 Victor Sessions Camden, New Jersey.
July 10, 1929 Victor Sessions Camden, New Jersey.
July 12, 1929 Victor Sessions Camden, New Jersey.
Late October 1929 Stock Market crash.
Dec. 11, 1929 New York, NY Recording session
Lizzie Miles, accompanied by Jelly Roll Morton.
I Hate A Man Like You (Morton)
Dec 17, 1929 Recording session for Victor.
1930 NY: Red Allen, Paul Barbarin, King Oliver, Fletcher Henderson, young Danny Barker and Morton all hanging out at the Rhythm Club. (OMJ 98) Morton owns two Lincoln automobiles that he keeps in a garage near the Rhythm Club.
Around 1930 Princeton Junior Prom show (OMJ 524)
March 19, 1930 New York City Victor Sessions
June 2, 1930 recording session for Victor
1931 death of Morton’s grandmother Laura Peche Monette (OMJ 346)
1936 Morton on the road with Brown Skin Models, “a second rate colored burlesque show.” They play in Los Angeles at the Burbank Theatre and at the Million Dollar Theatre. Peg Leg Bates is the headliner; Morton is not featured. (OMJ 548)
1936 “…on WOL in Washington where he hosted a program called A History of Jazz.” (DJ)
death of birth father Edward Lamothe in 1938 (Hanley)
Date? Autobiographical statement written found in Tempo Music files: “I have been in D. C. for three years… I thought about going to Calif. And I guess I will carry out my plan.” (OMJ 44)
March 19, 1938 Jelly Roll Charts Jazz; article in the Washington Daily News
March 26, 1938 W.C. Handy featured on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (DJ)
May 9, 1938 Lomax records W.C. Handy in Washington, DC
(DJ has May 6; B&GR has May 9.)
Around here? There is a poster dated “Spring ‘38” promoting something called “Mummer Revue” at the Music Box Inn. This show apparently featured two female impersonators. Morton is not mentioned. Reprinted in Complete Library of Congress Recordings booklet.
May 23, 1938 Library of Congress recordings commence at the Coolidge Auditorium. These comprise many sessions, through June. Then, apparently, a six-month interval, then the final, piano-less session in Dec. (MJL 85; DJ)
June 3, 1938
Cabaret Night as the Music Box Inn (OMJ 418)
Circa August 1938 Baltimore Sessions; 14 private acetate recordings extant, possibly representing only a small percentage of recordings that were originally made. (MJL)
Sep 21, 1938 (?) Movie Ball Night at the Colonnade (two doors west of Music Box) (OMJ 418)
Around here? Carew dates the so-called Fragment of an Autobiography, indicating in it was after the Library of Congress sessions but before Morton left for New York. (OMJ 37)
c. Dec. 14, 1938 last session for the Library of Congress.
Dec. 1938 Solo recording session, four titles, in Washington for Nesuhi Ertegun and Jazz Man Records.
Dec. 25, 1938 Morton drives to New York; meets with Lomax and telegrams Carew.
Dec. 26? Meets with agent
Jan. 2 1939 Morton telegrams Carew and urgently implores him to copyright Alabama Bound. In subsequent letters throughout January he relates the tensions of using Clarence Williams’ office as a mailing address, rehearsing a band with Wellman Braud and Happy Cauldwell for two months without work, writing arrangements of If You Knew and My Home Is In A Southern Town, Melrose has sent 19 orchestrations for him to use, he intends to work with “a girl singer”,
Late Feb., 1939 Lomax attends Morton band rehearsal, meets with Morton; Morton is frustrated by sour negotiations with Eli Oberstien, Frank Walker, his agent, Melrose, and is frequently in poor health.
April 7, 1939 Morton, in poor health, auditions for John Hammond, arranged by Lomax.
April 17, 1939 Morton suffers a heart attack and is rushed to hospital. Lomax visits him there. Carew visits on April 23.
May 7, 1939 Morton released from hospital.
Carew writes Lottie Joplin that the copyright for Treemonisha is about to expire. He and Morton are attempting to get her to publish some of Joplin’s works with them.
May 19, 1939 Morton working on an arrangement of Good Ole New York.
May 30, 1939 Morton diagnosed as having hardening of the arteries.
c. June 10, 1939 Morton attends a recording session of Leadbelly for Musicraft, produced by Lomax.
June 1939 Readings (at rehearsals?) of Good Ole New York by Hot Lips Page’s band and Charles Johnson’s Paradise Ten.
July 1939 Morton working on arrangement of We Are Elks, complete by July 10. At printer by July 17th. Begins work on arrangement of Why?
August 25, 1939 Morton writes to Carew that the Elks project was a failure. Continued poor health etc.
Summer 1939 Morton visits Hot Record Society Record Shop on suggestion of Sidney Martin. Stephen Smith arranges date for Victor, coinciding with publication of Jazzmen. (OMJ 533)
1939 World’s Fair engagement at Long Island
Sep. 14, 1939 New York, NY recording session for Victor
Sep. 28th 1939 New York, NY recording session for Victor
Sep 26, 1939 Morton copyrights Don’t You Leave Me Here and Mr. Joe.
Sep 28, 1939 follow up Victor session, absent Bechet.
Oct 6, 1939 Winin’ Boy released.
c. Oct 16 Buddy Bolden released
Oct 31 Morton is a guest on radio show “We The People,” playing Tiger Rag.
Nov. 6, 1939 Morton writes to Carew that he is “negotiating plans for a book”, presumably a memoir.
Nov 16 Morton gets a pair of bifocals, due to worsening eyesight.
Dec 10, 1939 Morton accepted into ASCAP.
[1939 publication of Jazzmen, edited by Frederic Ramsey and Charles Edward Smith.]
December 1939 “New Orleans Memories” sessions for General.
An “album” – five 78’s and a book by Charles Edward Smith.
1939-40 Morton and Mabel at 207 West 131st St., between 7 and 8th Ave., in an apartment in a house owned by Mamie (also Mayme) Wright. “He had the bottom floor all to his self. She was from New Orleans, and was a big politician in this area [NY] – OMJ 525) Morton rehearses a band in his apartment where he has a grand piano. (OMJ 313) Charles Edward Smith visits often. George Guesnon lives next door. Morton sometimes attends a Catholic church. (OMJ 109-112)
Feb. 14, 1940 death of godmother Laura Hunter (nee Eulalie Hecaud) in Los Angeles. (Hanley)
March-July 1940 Morton talks up a record company idea with Clarence Williams, Roy Carew, and a fourth partner, Mr. Still, in possession of recording equipment (and a stamper?). He intends to record Bechet, Nicholas, etc. on “spec” (in Morton’s jargon, “PC”). He is also at this time working with a “Jewish attorney” Saul A. Finkel (see OMJ 253) (but who is H. Dorsey Spencer?) to open a suit against Southern Music, Melrose, and ASCAP. (OMJ 236-240)
March 17, 1940 Morton at Nick’s with New Orleans septet, including Bechet. Morton introduces the material, tells stories, answers questions sent up from the audience. (OMJ 535-7)
Monday, March 25, 1940 Four x-rays taken of Morton, at hospital. (OMJ 237)
April 4, 1940 Carew sends Morton a check for (half of?) $8.22, royalties from RCA/Victor.
April 28, 1940 Morton at Nick’s with New Orleans septet, including Bechet. (OMJ 535)
Spring – Winter 1940
Many anti-Semitic, anti-communist letters by Morton to Carew, blaming Jewish communists for controlling the music business and conspiring against him. Jews become a fixation for Morton, and in almost every extant letter for over a year – through November of 1940, he goes out of his rhetorical way to blast a Jewish conspiracy.
May 12, 1940 Carew writes to the Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street.
June 17, 1940 Morton writes to Carew: “… the surrender of France came like a thunderbolt to me & left me a bit nervous.” Also: “I am to appear before the board at ASCAP today.”
July 2, 1940 Carew sends Morton a check for (half of?) $4.34, royalties from RCA/Victor.
July 14, 1940 Morton appears on Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street radio broadcast. According to Morton, they contact him at noon to be at a rehearsal that day at 2:00. (OMJ 252)
July 24, 1940 Morton writes (from Atlantic City) to Carew: “I received a check for $100 from ASCAP.”
Sep 16-23 1940 Morton to Cincinnati, trying to secure a gig.
Fall 1940 Victor issues a Morton Discography pamphlet, prepared by John Reid. (OMJ 426)
Oct. 7, 1940 Morton writes to Carew that the Cincinnati gig has fallen through.
Oct. 27, 1940 Carew writes to Morton that he has received the “Stomp Rhythm orchestration… . The words seem to be all right as far as I can see, except that F natural is rather high for the ordinary voice.” He also mentions a “J. Buddy Payne and his orchestra”, who is that? (OMJ 273)
Possibly 1940? Morton “lectured a few times to a folk music class at New York University.” (OMJ 483)
Nov. 4, 1940 Morton writes to Carew from Rock Springs, Wyo.
Nov. 5, 1940 Lomax records Blind Willie McTell in Atlanta.
Nov. 13 1940 Morton writes to Carew from Los Angeles.
Nov. 21, 1940 Morton writes of looking into his “Godmother and Godfather’s” effects, and they were bereft, having either signed away or been robbed of everything.
Dec. 18, 1940 Carew sends Morton $9.73 in royalties. (OMJ 298)
1940 Rehearses a big band with Ed Garland, Ram Hall, Mutt Carey, Ory, Bud Scott. They rehearse a lot at Elk’s Hall in South Central L.A. (OMJ 557)
Around here? May 3, 1941 Responding to Carew’s entreaties that Morton answer questions from old letters, Morton writes, re Carew’s letter of Nov. 16, 1940: “At the time you spoke of James Roosevelt, I was about to be connected with a show that was going to open at the Hollywood Theatre, the people weren’t properly trained (I mean the Chorus) that was cancelled until the chorus gotten in shape.”
January 2, 1941 Morton writes to Carew “I have my trunks… . I was spitting blood for a time. My breath is still short and are having trouble with blood pressure. I wrote to my wife and she has the address to forward my mail.”
Jan. 8, 1941 Carew sends Morton a check for $1.19, royalties from RCA/Victor.
Jan. 14, 1941 Morton writes to Carew “Spikes took me out to see [West Coast Chief of operations for BMI] Henry Engel.” He also mentions buying a piano.
March 16, 1941 Carew writes Morton: “Your wife wrote me about ten days ago, and asked me if I had heard from you lately.”
March 25, 1941 Morton writes to Carew: “ in all I had 4 different doctors and two different x-rays.”
April 2, 1941 Morton writes to Carew: “I had another x-ray last Friday again, & again my heart was found to be very much enlarged.”
April 5, 1941 Carew sends Morton a check for $1.02, royalties from RCA/Victor.
1941 rehearses a septet (with, at times, Ram Hall, Kid Ory) at the union hall on Central Ave.
Goes to Ory’s house in L. A. to talk. (OMJ 126)
June 25, 1941 Carew writes to Morton: “I have your letter written in the hospital…”
June 28, 1941 Morton signs will
June 30, 1941? Admitted to Los Angeles County General Hospital. (death certificate OMJ 308)
July 10, 1941 Death