Click to enlarge photograph

Jelly Roll Morton
at the RCA Manufacturing Company, Inc., studio #3 in New York, N.Y.
14th September 1939

This photograph was taken on the day of Morton’s first Bluebird recording session in 1939. Otto F. Hess took photographs while unknown visitors looked on. One person is leaning on the piano while two more are standing in the dark background.

The part of the photograph showing Morton has been published before — but never the full picture. Thus, the identity of the three visitors has not been established yet. It is known that Steve Smith, the owner of the Hot Record Society store, was involved in both Bluebird sessions, so he may be one of the three.

The Otto Hess collection now partially resides in the New York Public Library.

Not shown in Mr. Jelly Lord (1980) by Laurie Wright, or Oh, Mister Jelly (1999) edited by William Russell.

courtesy of Ate van Delden

2012 Ate van Delden Collection

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