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Hotel North, 542, 6th Street, San Diego, California

Jelly Roll Morton stayed at the Hotel North in early November 1921, when he and a small orchestra, which included Dink Johnson, Wade Whaley and Willie Moorehead, were engaged to play at the nearby U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, California.

Robert (Kid) North lived at 542, 6th Street in 1920 and 1921, where he was head of a household that included at least his wife Helen. [MJR 175]  At the time Kid North lived at that address, he listed himself as a salesman. In 1921 the upstairs apartments at 542, 6th Street, were listed as Hotel North. Today it is called the Simmons Hotel.

The following letter from Jelly Roll was published The Chicago Defender, dated 12th November 1921:

“A letter came from Jelly Roll Morton and in it he claims that the report of his death which is raging throughout the civilized world and the South, is exaggerated. He claims that he isn’t half dead nor even indisposed. This being the fact he wants to be remembered to his millions of friends and admirers everywhere. He would like to hear from Paul Wyer, the Pensacola Kid. Mail will reach him if addressed to 542 Sixth Street, San Diego, Cal.” [CD]

Photograph courtesy of Dr. Robert Pinsker

2004 Monrovia Sound Studio

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