Click to enlarge photograph

Jelly Roll Morton in Chicago, c. 1916 during a convention of the Elks
(Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks in the U.S.A.)

Enlarged detail from the above photograph

Jelly Roll Morton (second from right) standing with a group of associates outside The Elite No. 2 Café in Chicago’s Southside. According to one source, the light-skinned mulatto with the mustache (standing second from left in the upper photograph, and immediate left in the lower enlarged detail) is thought to be Henry (Teenan) Jones, the proprietor of the club, which was located at 3445 South State Street. This is probably not correct.

Another source identified Henry (Teenan) Jones as the dark-skinned African American, standing on the extreme right in the enlarged detail next to Jelly Roll, and his brother, Sam (Give-A-Damn) Jones, as standing second from the left in the enlarged detail. The light-skinned mulatto, on the left in the enlarged detail, may be Henry Jones, a waiter at the Elite born in New Orleans in 1879, and later proprietor of a Southside club; or it may be Teenan’s partner at the time, Art Codozoe, who is incorrectly referred to as Art Cardozier in Mister Jelly Roll. [MJR 152]

Teenan Jones was born in Alabama in 1861, but went to Illinois with his family in the 1870s. He died in Watseka, Illinois on 12th April 1946 (courtesy of Prof. Lawrence Gushee). Teenan’s rise to financial success came as a result of his participation in Chicago in the numbers game and other rackets run by the Bronzeville gambling czar, John (Mushmouth) Johnson. After Johnson’s death in 1907, Teenan and his brother moved up the illegal gambling hierarchy and, following successes in clubs in white areas, opened the Elite No. 1 and the Elite No. 2 in the black belt about 1912.

The original photograph was part of the John Steiner Collection, which is now housed in the Regenstein Library, the main library at the University of Chicago.

The photograph was first published in Chris Albertson’s Giants of Jazz: Jelly Roll Morton, issued by Time-Life Records, Alexandria, Virginia, 1979, page 12. [32]

Shown in Oh, Mister Jelly (1999) edited by William Russell, pages 57 and 58. Not shown in Mr. Jelly Lord (1980) by Laurie Wright.

courtesy of Peter Hanley

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