CHICAGO AND NEW YORK : SUCCESS, PROSPERITY, APRIL 1923 – 1931
 Relocates in Chicago  ·  Melrose Bros. Music Publishing Co.
 Paramount, Gennett and Victor Records  ·  Vocalstyle, Capitol and Q.R.S. Music Rolls
 Touring for Music Corporation of America and others  ·  Morton moves to New York

Peter Hanley sends the following population statistics of cities and towns in Jelly Roll Morton’s travels, April 1923 to 1941.

 Population Statistics of Cities and Towns
 in Jelly Roll’s travels, April 1923 to 1941

Adam M. Dubin sends the following photograph of the building that originally housed the Melrose Bros. Music Company, Inc., 177 N. State Street, Chicago, Illinois. Located adjacent to the prestigious Chicago Theater, this is the only Melrose building in Chicago to have survived urban renewal.

Click on photograph to enlarge view of the prestigious Chicago Theater - located on N. State Street, Chicago, Ill.

Chicago Theater
N. State Street, Chicago

Click on photograph to enlarge view of the building which originally housed the Melrose Bros. Music Company, Inc., 177 N. State Street, Chicago, Ill.

177 N. State Street, Chicago
© 2001 Adam M. Dubin

Music publisher and songwriter Perry Bradford, writes in his uninhibited autobiography Born With The Blues © 1965 . . . Some egotistic cats have been spreading loads of junk about Jelly Roll Morton and when he cut his first record. Well, here are the contents of a letter Jelly Roll wrote me from Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1923, which we ran in the New York Observer, a theatrical sheet Floyd Snelson was editing and I was paying the bills: “Dear Friend Mule. Can you get some recording-dates for me if I come to New York?” . . . I answered: “Go and see Mr. Harry Gennett of Gennett Records and mention my name.” [BWTB 49]

MILENBURG JOYS
The Yerba Buena Stompers

Prof. Alan Wallace sends the following rare article from The Phonograph & Talking Machine Weekly, Vol. 16, No. 19, dated Wednesday, 7th November 1923, page 40, columns 2—3.


The Phonograph & Talking Machine Weekly

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON, RECORD ARTIST,
JOINS WRITING STAFF OF MELROSE BROS.

CHICAGO, ILL., Thursday.

Some few months ago “Jelly Roll” Morton, famous jazz pianist and orchestra leader, returned to Chicago after an absence of about seven years. During that time he had played in practically every large city throughout the South and West. Being possessed of a roving disposition “Jelly Roll” limited the length of his engagements in various cities to a couple of months. Wherever he went musicians always proclaimed him a genius in his particular style of music[,] which of course was the blues and stomps. The latter type of composition is an entirely different rhythm than the blues and is very popular with orchestras throughout the Southern states. Mr. Morton claims the distinction of being the originator of the stomps and is an expert in extemporizing this difficult style of rhythm.

Upon his return to Chicago he attracted the attention of the record manufacturers and negotiations were started for his services and contracts with the Gennett and Okeh companies were signed in a short time. He has just returned from the Gennett laboratories where he recorded six piano solos composed by himself. The initial release of the Gennett recording Kansas City Stomps and Grandpa’s Spells is already out and judging from dealers’ reports is enjoying a big sale. The first record of his orchestra will be released on Okeh records within a short time.

The fololwing (following) numbers have been accepted by the Melrose Bros. Music Co. of Chicago for immediate publication: Kansas City Stomps, Grandpa’s Spells, The Pearls, King Porter, Chicago Breakdown, New Orleans Blues, Deuces Wild, Shreveport Stomps, Any Ox, Stratford Rag, Mamanita, London Blues, Southern Town and Mr. Jelly Lord. These numbers will be published under the title of “Jelly Roll” Morton’s Famous Blues and Rag Series. Mr. Morton is also the composer of Jelly Roll Blues, a number that was quite popular some years ago. His latest hit, Wolverine Blues, is considered by musicians a noteworthy contribution to music and is one of the popular numbers now on the market.

Robert Perry sends the following rare article from Presto : The American Music Trade Weekly, No. 1946, dated 10th November 1923, page 25, column 3.


Presto : The American Music Trade Weekly

HOME OF “BLUES”

Melrose Bros., Chicago, Enlarge Wholesale
Department and Have a New Blues Hit.

Melrose Bros., music publishers, “Home of the Blues,” have moved their wholesale department to the Cohan Grand Opera House Building, Randolph and Clark streets, Chicago. They occupy four spacious rooms on the sixth floor of this building. Their retail store is at 63rd street and Cottage Grove avenue, where they have been established for over five years and where this progressive house has built up a fine clientele. The down town office will be in charge of Walter Melrose.

“Sobbin’ Blues,” “Wolverine” and “Tin Roof Blues,” will be released on Victor, Okey, Gennett, and Paramount records for the month of December, also by the Connorized Music Roll Co. Eighteen other big hits are about ready for release.

Fred (Ferd) Morton, noted jazz pianist, who composed the jazz hit, is in Chicago after an absence of seven years and new numbers by this jazz artist will be released by the Melrose Co., in the very near future. Mr. Morton’s latest hit, “Wolverine Blues,” is now in great demand throughout the country and is considered a noteworthy contribution to music and from all indications will soon be classed as one of the few standard “blues” numbers now on the market.

 SHREVEPORT STOMPS
 played by John Jenkins

Prof. James Dapogny sends the following, which notes previously unknown engagements for Jelly Roll Morton. A handbill/poster announces that ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton’s Colored Jazz Band will appear at the Tokio Gardens, South Bend, [Indiana] tonight. No date is listed, but after — “Why not use this orchestra for your next dance? Give your friends something new in the way of Music and Entertainment” — there is a list of available dates for the band of 13th, 14th, 17th to 21st, 26th to 28th December [1923] and 2nd to 4th and 7th to 11th January [1924]. The gaps suggest to me that the band was engaged at the Tokio Gardens (elsewhere the poster says “indefinitely engaged”) on Saturdays and Sundays in late 1923 and early 1924 and was looking for weekday work.

The poster and a separate card, list “GEORGE J. BREINIG, c/o TOKIO or 367 OLIVER BLDG,. SOUTH BEND, IND.” as the contact person and lists “JELLY ‘ROLL’ MORTON AND HIS INCOMPARABLE JAZZ BAND, Eight Musical Demons In A Torrent of Blues, America’s Sensational Colored Orchestra.” Tending to corroborate this is an article from the New York Observer, dated 26th December 1923, in which there is an advert for Ferd (Jelly Roll) Johnson (Morton), with a picture of Morton, giving his address as 1501 W. Washington Street, South Bend, Indiana.
[S]

Following up leads from the above notes on Jelly Roll Morton’s music activities in South Bend, Indiana, I made contact with Jim Kashishian, who was on vacation in South Bend during December 2004. Jim met up with fellow musician Don Boyer, who then made contact with John Kovach the librarian of Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana.

John has searched through his library collection and has discovered several interesting pictorial adverts from local newspapers, which contain valuable information about Jelly Roll’s appearances at the Tokio Gardens dance hall. The building, which was located at N. Michigan and Marion streets, South Bend, Indiana is no longer standing due to urban renewal.
[JK 1]

John Kovach sends the following small advert from The South Bend Tribune, dated Wednesday, 21st November 1923, page 15, columns 2—3.


The South Bend Tribune

“Jelly Roll”

John Kovach sends the following announcement, which appeared in The South Bend Tribune, dated Saturday, 24th November 1923, page 6, column 8.


The South Bend Tribune

“JELLY
   ROLL”
IS
COMING
SUNDAY
TO

?

John Kovach sends the following advert from The South Bend Tribune, dated Sunday, 25th November 1923, page 5, columns 7—8.


The South Bend Tribune

TOKIO

“Jelly Roll”
Morton’s
Incomparable
Colored
Jazz
Orchestra


To-Night

It is America’s pre-
mier Dance Band

TUESDAY
and
WEDNESDAY
Studebaker
Carnival

2
Nights.
Fast — Furious — Fun
Admission

10c
U-R-WELCOME

John Kovach sends the following advert from the South Bend News-Times, dated Sunday, 25th November 1923, page 15, columns 5—6.


The South News-Times

TOKIO

TONIGHT
“JELLY ROLL”
NORTON
and His
Incomparable
COLORED
JAZZ
BAND
It is
America’s
Premier
Dance
Orchestra

TUESDAY
and
WEDNESDAY
STUDEBAKER
CARNIVAL
2
NIGHTS
FAST                    
FURIOUS
                      FUN
ADMISSION
10c
U-R-WELCOME

John Kovach sends the following pictorial advert from the South Bend News-Times, dated Saturday, 1st December 1923, page 20, columns 7—8.


The South News-Times

click to enlarge

Note: The 1923 South Bend City Directory lists the location of the Tokio Gardens dance hall at N. Michigan and Marion Streets, South Bend, Indiana. [DB 1]

Note: The George J. Breinig mentioned on the poster was not in South Bend for very long. He was born (George John) in Indiana in 1880 and it seems that until 1923, he lived most of his life in Terre Haute, Indiana. He married his wife Ada about 1909. His 1918 World War 1 Draft Registration Card lists him as manager of the Liberty Theatre in Terre Haute. The only time I found him listed in the South Bend City Directory is in 1923 (there is no directory for 1922 or 1925) and no listing for him in 1926. In the 1923 directory his address is listed as 367 Oliver Bldg. [JK 2]

Note: The 1923 South Bend City Directory lists the location of the “Oliver Theatre” — also known as the “Oliver Opera House” and located in the Oliver Bldg at 114-116 N. Michigan Street, South Bend, Indiana. [DB 1]

Note: Both The South Bend Tribune and the South Bend News-Times would be considered white papers. As early as 1904 both publications had ethic columns like: “Colored News” and “In Colored Circles.” [JK 2]

Note: One thinks that the band might have been Natty Dominique (c); Zue Robertson (tb); Horace Eubanks (cl) and Jelly Roll Morton (p), as on the October 1923 OKeh session. [ND]  [LG 6]

Note: Special thanks to Don Boyer and Jim Kashishian for their help in gathering in the information for Jelly Roll’s appearances in South Bend.

Brian Goggin sends the following article for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton engagement in Benton Harbor, Michigan from The News-Palladium, dated Saturday, 15th December 1923, page 4, column 1.


The News Palladium

SOCIETY

Two Hundred Frolic —

One hundred couples attended the Elks’ big frolic last evening in the Elks temple, dancing to music played by Jelly-Roll Morton and his jazz band of Chicago, colored musicians. The function, which was a delightful informal affair, was one of the best and most succesful of the Elks’ social events of the year.

A scheme of red, white and blue, and one which more than pleased, was a group of selections on the piano by Jelly-Roll himself! Such a hit was made by the visiting leader and his band that they have been asked to play the musical program for another Elks’ frolic in January.

A scheme of red, white and blue, carrying out the colors of the American flag, decorated the temple. Ice cream and wafers were served.

Note: Prof. Lawrence Gushee has suggested that the band for the South Bend, Indiana engagement on 1st December 1923 might have included Natty Dominique (c); Zue Robertson (tb); Horace Eubanks (cl) and Jelly Roll Morton (p), as on the October 1923 OKeh session. [ND]

Because the above Benton Harbor, Michigan and the following Greensburg, Indiana engagements were very close to that date, possibly the same band members may have been involved. In fact, Natty Dominique recalled a tour with Morton during this time: “We made a pretty good record of London Blues, and I was proud because it was the first wax I cut. I went on the road with Jelly Roll Morton, playing at dances, but we never did play here in Chicago. We went all through Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, we never got to Detroit though.” [NOS 159]

Note: Natty Dominique also recalled: “Zue went with us on the road, but Buster Bailey was only on the record. The clarinet on the road with us was a tall brownskin fellow, an older bald-headed man named Ball. He played good clarinet.” [OMJ 377] This is probably clarinetist “Balls” Ball who appeared on the “Jelly Roll Morton’s Kings of Jazz” session in c. September 1924. [KOJ]

Brian Goggin sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton engagement at Dalmbert Hall, Greensburg, Indiana from The Daily Republican, dated Monday, 24th December 1923, page 3, columns 6—7.


The Daily Republican

Holiday Dance

Dalmbert Hall, Greensburg, Ind.
Home of American Legion

Dec, 26 --- Wed. Night --- Dec. 26

JELLY ROLL MORTON
And His
8  New Orleans Rythm (sic) Kings  8

JELLY ROLL MORTON,  King of Jazz Pianists, composer of popular numbers such as  Jelly Roll Blues,  London Blues, Big Foot Ham, Grandpa Spells, Wolverine Blues and many others.

Jelly Roll Morton
And His New Orleans Rythm (sic) Kings  have recorded the following
Gennett Records: Millenburg Blues
(sic), King Porter Stomp, Kansas
City Stomp, Jelly Roll Blues, New Orleans Blues and many others
[.]  


Balloons For The Ladies
Hats, Horns,  Noise Clackers and Confetti —
Beautiful Decorations  and  Electrical Effects.


Only $2.00
9 : 30 – 1 : 30                                                                             9 : 30 – 1 : 30
Don’t Miss This Dance

Prof. Lawrence Gushee and Prof. Alan Wallace send the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 5th January 1924, page 6 — part 2, column 1.


The Chicago Defender

INDIANA NEWS

INDIANAPOLIS NEWS

by ALVIN D. SMITH
Indianapolis Office, 416 Indiana Ave.
Phone, Circle 7047

Indianapolis, Ind., Jan. 4 — Several members of the Jelly Roll Moton’s [sic] Jazz orchestra, including Mr. Moton [sic] himself, were callers at the local office of the World’s Greatest Weekly last week. They have several engagements in the state. . . .

 Robert Perry sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 5th January 1924, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 1, page 60, columns 1—2.



The Music Trade Review

Melrose Bros., of Chicago,
Issue Two Blues Numbers


Melrose Bros. Launch Campaign First of the Year on Latest Numbers,
“Some Day, Sweetheart” and “Mobile Blues”

CHICAGO, ILL., December 29. — Melrose Bros., music publishers, who recently opened downtown offices in the Cohan’s Grand Opera House, and are known as “The House of Blues” because of their large catalog of “blues” numbers, announce two additional numbers that will be exploited after the first of the year. They are “Mobile Blues,” written by Albert E. Short, musical director of Balaban & Katz, and “Some Day, Sweetheart,” blues fox-trot, written by the writers of “Wolverine Blues.”

With the addition of these two numbers the Melrose catalog will have twenty-two “blues” numbers, including “Jelly Roll,” Morton’s famous Blues and Rag Series. This consists of a series of popular songs, such as “Kansas City Stomps,” “King Porter,” that “Jelly Roll” Morton, the well-known pianist, has recorded for several mechanical companies. “This is a series of numbers,” says Walter Melrose, head of the company, “which have a permanent popularity, if that term can be used.” Their appeal is different from that of the hit class, as the songs will be just as popular in a year from now as they are now. The melody is such that one does not get tired and orchestras have been found to use these numbers over and over again. These numbers, therefore, will have a large appeal to the music dealer, as the exploitation work that is done is never lost, as is the case when a number suddenly dies.

The trade looks forward to the new releases of this company, for its numbers have been popular not only in sheet music sales, but also in mechanical recordings.

Mike Montgomery sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 14th June 1924, Vol. LXXVIII, No. 24, page 22b, column 3.


The Music Trade Review

“Jelly Roll” Morton’s
Series in Vocalstyle List


Melrose Music Co. Numbers Recorded by Composer
for Well-known Cincinnati Player Roll Manufacturer

CHICAGO, ILL., June 7. — “Jelly Roll Morton’s Famous Rag-Stomp and Blues Series,” published by the Melrose Bros. Music Co., 119 North Clark street, in folio form, have just been recorded by “Jelly Roll” Morton himself for the Vocalstyle Music Co., Cincinnati.

“Jelly Roll” is a nationally known colored composer and pianist and one of the most interesting of characters. His style is individual and the precision of his dance rhythm is a work of art that portrays the result of many years of hard and patient study of the piano along these lines.

During the last fifteen years his travels have carried him to practically all the leading cities of the Central, Southern and Western States, where he has acquired a very large following. His work and popularity have placed him into the most exclusive and highest-class cafés in the South, where he is always an attraction. His home is in New Orleans and it was from this well-known rendezvous of jazz music that the modern syncopations
[,] which he now plays[,] first emanated.

The numbers composed by “Jelly Roll,” and by him recorded for the Vocalstyle Co., will be listed under the heading of “‘Jelly Roll’ Morton’s Famous Rag-Stomp and Blues Series.” The list includes the following recordings: “Kansas City Stomps,” “Grandpa’s Spells,” “King Porter,” “Mr. Jelly Lord,” “New Orleans Blues,” “The Pearls,” “Wolverine Blues,” “Alabama Nights,” “London Blues,” “Chicago Breakdown,” “Shreveport Stomps,” “Any Ox” and several others.

 STRATFORD HUNTCH
 played by Jelly Roll Morton

Mike Montgomery sends the following rare article from The Music Trades, dated Saturday, 21st June 1924, page 29.


The Music Trades

VOCALSTYLE CO. COMPLETES
“JELLY ROLL” MORTON SERIES


Cincinnati Roll Manufacturer Records Numbers
by Famous Blues Artist – Musician Has
Interesting Career

CINCINNATI, June 16. — The Vocalstyle Music Co. has just completed a complete recording of all of “Jelly Roll Morton’s blues and rag numbers. The releases will be known as the “Jelly Roll Morton’s Famous Rag-Stomp and Blues Series.” They will include “Kansas City Stomps,” “Grandpa’s Spells,” “King Porter,” “Mr. Jelly Lord,” “New Orleans Blues,” “The Pearls,” “Wolverine Blues,” “Alabama Nights,” “London Blues,” “Chicago Breakdown,” “Shreveport Stomps,” and “Any Ox.”

“Jelly Roll” Morton is known as one of the most unique and interesting characters among the negro pianists. During the last fifteen years he has traveled to practically every city of any size in the central, southern and western States, where he has many admirers. From the river boats and backroom cafes he has gradually worked his way into the best cafes and dance halls, until today he is nationally known for his compositions and playing.

Leading musicians throughout the country consider Mr. Morton an artist in his style of playing and extemporizing blues and rag selections.

The entire group of works of Mr. Morton will shortly be published in folio form by Melrose Brothers of Chicago.

 THE PEARLS
 played by Jelly Roll Morton

Prof. Lawrence Gushee and Prof. Alan Wallace send the following article, which appeared in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, dated Sunday, 13th July 1924, part 8, page 5, column 4.


Chicago Sunday Tribune

RADIOCAST STARS
ENLIVEN  B. L. A.
OPEN MEETING

The regular weekly open meeting of the Broadcast Listener’s association, held every Friday evening in Hamilton park fieldhouse, 72d street and Normal avenue, was enlivened last week by appearance in person of additional radiocast stars through the courtesy of the Morton & Edleson Booking agency, the principals of which have taken this means of giving radioans opportunity personally to meet stage favorites with whose voices they have become familiar over the radio, and, at the same time, to help “put over” the B. L. A.  Popular stars who appeared on Friday evening’s program are: “Jelly Roll” Morton, “world’s greatest jazz pianist” and phonograph record artist; Joe Jordan, composer and arranger, who claims the distinction of being the first man to put on a radio show, and Harold Morava, popular tenor, and Miss Catherine O’Bryan, one of WOC’s favorites.

Speakers of the evening included William J. Schnell, engineering staff, Electrical Research laboratories; William J. Moray, technical expert Rauland Manufacturing company; M. H. Romberg, electrical engineer of the University of Chicago, and Lewis B. Hagerman.

According to Harold McFerran, Jelly Roll Morton, on a trip with his touring band to Louisville, Kentucky in 1925, did a guest spot on a radio broadcast featuring his own compositions. The radio station, WHAS, was located in the basement of Harry Curry’s Music Store on 4th Avenue between Chestnut and Broadway. Harold McFerran was with the Ferman Tapp outfit and they featured on broadcasts with Jelly. [MJL 31] However, Fred Cox followed up this item and reports in Storyville magazine, issue 98, that radio station WHAS was actually located on the top floor of the Courier-Journal building on 3rd and Liberty. Fred believes that the station that Morton broadcast from may have been WLAP, a low-power station that started up in 1922. [F 71]

 TIN ROOF BLUES
 played by Molly Kaufmann

Steve Repp of the Historical Collections Room of the Galena Public Library, and his colleague Tom Golden, send the following photographs of the Royal Palais Ballroom, taken shortly before it was demolished in 1998: Interior of BallroomSouth ElevationWest Elevation. This out-of-town, utilitarian ballroom was a stopping off point for bands between engagements in Chicago and points West. The opening of this new dance hall was announced in The Galena Daily Gazette, dated Monday, 16th March 1925.


The Galena Daily Gazette

NEW DANCE HALL IS COMPLETED

H. J. Oldenburg & Sons have just completed one of the most up-to-date and prettiest dance pavilions in this part of the country which will be open to the public for its first dance Wednesday night, April 15th. This hall will be known as The Royal Dance Palace. There will be a dance given at this Palace every Wednesday night, music will be furnished by the best orchestras obtainable, also the best of order will be maintained with police protection. This Hall is built for the best of ventilation for warm weather, built with large drop doors, which can be thrown open on all sides of the building, thus giving the dancers great comfort while dancing. This building will be beautifully decorated, and the lighting effects are up to the minute. In addition to the hall there are check and refreshment rooms, plenty of well lighted parking space will be available for cars. This dance palace may also be rented for private dancing parties. The location is unexcelled as it is closed (close) to Galena, and is on the cement road.

Note: Jelly Roll Morton’s first appearance at the Royal Palais Ballroom was Wednesday, 7th July 1926

 Prof. Albert Haim sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 16th May 1925, Vol. LXXX, No. 20, page 44, column 3.



The Music Trade Review

“Milenberg Joys,” New
Melrose Bros. Number


Written by “Jelly Roll” Morton, Leon Ropolo (Roppolo)
and Paul Mares – The New Composition
Likely to Be Popular

CHICAGO, ILL., May 9. — Melrose Bros., of 119 North Clark street, announce as their latest number a new Dixieland one-step entitled “Milenberg Joys,” written by the writers of “Tin Roof Blues” and “Wolverine Blues,” who are “Jelly Roll” Morton, Leon Ropolo (Roppolo), and Paul Mares.

According to Walter Melrose, the new number will be one of the biggest hits the company has ever brought out. It comprises a special orchestra arrangement that will be particularly popular.

Karl Ellison sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 20th March 1926, part 1, page 6, column 4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Jelly Roll Morton and his orchestra are traveling through the South. They are doing dance work. Recently they played Louisville, Ky., and made a wonderful impression.

Karl Ellison sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 27th March 1926, part 1, page 6, column 3.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Jelly Roll Hitting

Jelly Roll Morton and his band recorded some ‘hot’ records for the Gennett Record company at Richmond, Ind., in February, after which they went on tour of the large southern cities, so says Ray Bowling, the cornetist with this aggregation. This week they are in Paris, Ky., and mail will reach them at 112 N. Eighth St.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 24th April 1926, part 1, page 6, column 4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Notes

Clarence Jones, the radio pianist, is domiciled at the Owl theater, Chicago, where he brings a large following of his own to hear his well-seasoned orchestra.

The famous Stomp King was a visitor in Chicago this week, running down from Milwaukee, Wis., where he is king of piano players.

Jelly Roll Morton ran into town this week to do some recording for the Brunswick company. He left his band downstate, but will rejoin them in two days.

Joe Oliver has added a violinist to his always “hot” jazz band who draws the big crowds nightly to the well-known Plantation cafe, Chicago.

Lovie Austin accompanied Virginia Liston in recordings this week for a big record company in Chicago.

Brian Goggin sends the following advert for a previously unknown engagement of Jelly Roll Morton in Carbondale, Illinois from The Carbondale Daily Free Press, dated Wednesday, 28th April 1926, page 3, column 4.


The Carbondale Daily Free Press

COLORED DANCE

Dance Thursday night, April 29th. Jelly Roll Morton, king of jazz music and his broadcasting band, will appear at the Armoury hall Thursday night. Charleston contest.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 12th June 1926, part 1, page 7, columns 1—2.


The Chicago Defender

The Defender’s MOVIE and STAGE Department

TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS SENT TO
GEORGE WALKER’S MOTHER


By NOBLE SISSLE

St. Louis, Mo. — Fellow members of the profession, “we are off.” Talk about hustling to get a quick show on in order that “Mother” Walker could get immediate relief! You should have seen those buddies of ours that happened to be playing here last week get together. Landing in town Friday, May 28, the first thing done was to go to Booker Washington theater and hold a quick consultation with “Red” Burnett, manager of the “Booker” in the absence of Charles Turpin, who is in Hot Springs, Ark., and our good pals, Salem and Homer, whose Smarter Set was playing there. On explaining the circumstances of George Walker’s mother it was considered best to put on a ramble as soon as possible, pending an organized effort that might take a few days to get under way. Well, that was easier said that done, inasmuch as the next day was Saturday, and then Sunday and the holiday Monday (Decoration day) made the getting out of advertising very difficult — almost impossible. Then, too, the engagement of my partner and myself closed on the following Friday, which meant that the ramble would have to be given Thursday, June 3. To make a long story short, Charley Turpin was reached by long-distance phone and turned the theater over to us the next morning. An early visit to the local newspaper office gave us our only printed matter in the form of 3,000 hand throw-aways, and a sign painter gave us a few hours of his time and got out a large banner.

With this small amount of advertising material we all got out and passed bills and talked up the affair. We went to ball games and made announcements, through the courtesy of the management; also to all of the cafes and restaurants. There was a very sympathetic reaction to our pleas, but to wake up a place like St. Louis and convince the people that they were going to get a show from the names we were advertising was some job.

However, we knew something must be done at once and to that end we worked, with the pleasing result of being able to clear $200 above expenses when, with the downpour of rain that kept up until late the night of the benefit, it looked as though we might go on the wrong side of the ledger. But the weather cleared up, and with the admission only 50 cents we were able to clear above a $67 expense the amount shown on the bank draft which was mailed to Mrs. Meyers.

Among those who contributed their services we wish especially to thank Tabor and Green, who were playing the beautiful new St. Louis theater; Lonnie Fisher and his entire revue, Henderson and Courtney, Steve Cady’s Radio Trio (white), Jelly Roll Morton’s band, Uukulele (Ukulele) Boys, Plantation Entertainers, Arthur Selectman and Charles Turpin and his staff; also the Argus Printing company, who worked overtime to get out printing, and last, but not least, “Red” Burnett, who got out himself personally and went from door to door to put out the hand bills, which was the only way the public could be reached. As I said before, the announcement of the show came between issues of the local paper, so all channels of reaching the public were closed. The big special feature was when little Frankie, from the Plantation café, did an imitation of George Walker, and so natural was he in the impersonation that the house literally rose from their seats to cheer.

Another feature that played a very important part in the success of the evening’s entertainment was the unusual master of ceremonies, in the person of the moving picture impresario, Ray, who is in St. Louis making two-reel comedies. His adlibbing was a riot. He showed rare versatility in his impromptu poems and dancing and witty sayings. His was a wonderful part, inasmuch as most benefits lag in between acts, and his clowning filled these gaps admirably.

This effort is but the advance movement of a 60-day drive in order to raise at least a $5,000 trust fund for the lifetime support of Mrs. Meyers (George Walker’s mother), the amount to be put in competent hands to assure the darling mother of our hero she will be comfy for the rest of her days.

Subscriptions for Mrs. Meyers can be sent to The Chicago Defender. The list will be published from week to week. The list begins with subscriptions from Salem Tutt and Homer Tutt Whitney, who subscribed $5 each. Let’s go, folks, and make the old lady happy in her declining years. If George Walker was living she would not be in this condition, as he truly loved his mother and provided for her generously as long as he lived. Let’s go!

SHOOTS AT RIVAL

Ocey Wilson, ex-manager of Mamie Smith, the “blues” queen, shot wild at her husband, Creed Johnson, whom she had just recently married. It happened in the lobby of the Howard theater, Washington, D.C., where Mamie Smith and her revue were playing.

Wilson was crazed by insane jealousy because Mamie discharged him after her marriage to Johnson, who has been the stage manager at the Howard for some time.

None of the bullets hit their mark. Wilson made his escape after the shooting, but was later apprehended in New York city. Extradition proceedings have been instituted and Wilson will be brought back to Washington to face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, brought by Johnson.

Steve Repp, of the Historical Collections Room of the Galena Public Library, sends the following article, which appeared in The Galena Daily Gazette, dated Tuesday, 6th July 1926.


The Galena Daily Gazette

Local Notes

Hey! Hey! Jelly Roll Morton — famous colored Recording Band of St. Louis at Royal Palais Wednesday night. — Advertisment.

Hear the colored Band at the Royal Palais Wednesday nite. Jelly Roll Morton and his famous colored Recording Band of St. Louis — Advertisment.

Jelly-Roll Morton and his famous colored Recording Band at the Royal Palais Wednesday nite, makers of Parmount (Paramount), Okeh, Vocational (Vocalion), Gennett and Columbia phonograph records — “Jelly Roll” himself makers of player piano Rolls. — Advertisement.

Steve Repp of the Historical Collections Room of the Galena Public Library, sends the following article, which appeared in The Galena Daily Gazette, dated Wednesday, 7th July 1926.


The Galena Daily Gazette

Local Notes

Tonite — Bring your Dancing Shoes to the Royal Dance Palais. Jelly-Roll Morton and his famous colored Recording Band of St. Louis, Mo., will make you do the rest. They’re Hot ! — Advertisement.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 31st July 1926, part 1, page 6, column 4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Teddy Leaving

The rumor is alive on the Chicago Stroll that Teddy Weatherford, the piano demon, will go to China with Jack Carter’s band. True or not, China will hear something she has never heard before. I am positive Teddy is going to memorize the “Chinese Blues” before he sails for the orient.

Ray Bowling

Ray Bowling, formerly a member of Jelly Roll Morton’s orchestra, is now playing a summer engagement with Ray Jackson’s Cincoe orchestra at Newport, R.I. He is one of the Race’s best cornetists. Ray would like to hear from his many friends in the profession. Mail will reach him at 66 Kingston Ave., Newport, R.I.

STEAMBOAT STOMP
 Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers

From Monday, 13th September, to Saturday, 18th December 1926, the Victor Talking Machine Company made their Chicago recordings in the ballroom of The Webster Hotel at 2150 Lincoln Park West. Among those were some of the most esteemed classics of Jelly Roll Morton, those from Wednesday 15th September — Black Bottom Stomp, Smoke-House Blues, The Chant, and Tuesday 21st September — Sidewalk Blues, Dead Man Blues and Steamboat Stomp and those from Thursday 16th December — Someday Sweetheart Blues, Grandpa’s Spells, Original Jelly-Roll Blues, Doctor Jazz-Stomp and Cannon Ball-Blues.

The hotel is situated on the west side, and at the southern end, of Chicago’s huge and beautiful Lincoln Park. The entrance to the ballroom from the lobby, which is at street level on the north side of the building, is about seventy feet inside the main entrance, to the right. The building, now known as Webster House, currently consists of residential apartments. The ballroom, most recently a restaurant, has not been used for anything for years.

The building’s place in jazz history would have been secured if only the Morton recordings had been made there. But other jazz artists recorded there too, including the Ben Pollack band (with Benny Goodman), the Coon-Sanders Orchestra, the Dixieland Jug Blowers (with Johnny Dodds on some titles), and Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra, as well as blues singer Sodarisa Miller. During its several months of using the Webster Hotel, Victor also recorded dance bands, ethnic groups, humor, gospel music, concert/military band music and popular music vocals.

Russell Shor sends the following side-by-side pictorial advert of Pablo Casals and Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, which featured in Victor’s second Orthophonic Recording promotional booklet, dated October 1926.

Click to enlarge

The first Victor all-electric records, using the Western Electric Orthophonic system, had a wider frequency range and a better, louder tone. Victor introduced the new system on 2nd November 1925. The Orthophonic Victrola phonograph was capable of playing back acoustically recorded and the new electrically recorded discs.

Russell Shor sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 30th October 1926, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 18, page 45, column 2.


The Music Trade Review

Stitzel Arrangements
Win a Wide Popularity


Chicago Arranger’s Latest Work Is “The Chant,”
a Melrose Bros. Music Co. Number

Chicago has given the music publishing world some very “hot” tunes in recent years, and this season is no exception. That is not to say that Chicago is not also responsible for some high-class popular melodies. Mel Stitzel has arranged quite a few of these popular offerings, particularly those that have attained wide popularity in dance form. He is one of the most important arrangers in Chicago. Some say his success has been due to the fact that through close editing he is enabled to present arrangements that are equally brilliant when played by a small or by a large orchestra.

Mel Stitzel does much arranging for the Melrose Bros. Music Co., of Chicago. His latest effort is considered a masterpiece, entitled “The Chant.” The number is appearing on practically all of the leading records as well as is another arrangement of his, called “Black Bottom Stomp,” also a Melrose publication.
[RHP]

Millie Gaddini sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 13th November 1926, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 20, page 40, columns 1—2.


The Music Trade Review

Bloom With Melrose

CHICAGO, ILL., November 6 — Marty Bloom, well-known writer of popular songs, has been appointed manager of the professional and orchestration department of the Melrose Bros. Music Co., 177 North State street, this city. Mr. Bloom has been, for the past three years, in New York City and has come to Chicago to work on some professional singing and dance songs for the Melrose Bros. Music Co., who now have a large catalog of specialty songs including “The Chant,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” “Panama Blues,” “Smokehouse Blues” and others.

Note: Marty Bloom provided the klaxon, whistle and other sound effects on Sidewalk Blues and Dead Man Blues for “Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers” Victor recording session, dated 21st September 1926. [RHP]

Note: See also Peter Hanley’s essay of Martin Blumenthal accompanied by his WWI Draft Registration Card.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following pictorial advert for Q.R.S Player Rolls, which appeared in The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 27th November 1926, page 6.


The Chicago Defender

Recent Recordings
That Are Real Blues


 3674 – Dead Man Blues
   3675 – Midnight Mama  

RECORDING Q.R.S. ARTISTS


JELLY ROLL MORTON           CLARENCE WILLIAMS
SID LANEY                                 JAMES P. JOHNSON      
J. LAWRENCE COOK               CLARENCE JOHNSON  
LEMUEL FOWLER



 SIDEWALK BLUES
Peruna Jazzmen

 Prof. Albert Haim sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 27th November 1926, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 22, page 47, columns 1—3.



The Music Trade Review

Melrose Bros. Planning Big Campaign
on “Sidewalk Blues,” Its Latest Number


Company Has Launched One of the Largest Publicity Campaigns in Its History on This Number
— Special Sidewalk Drive With Sandwich Men to Be Put on in Many Cities

CHICAGO, ILL., November 22. — “Sidewalk Blues” is the tune the mail carriers are singing as they start out in the morning loaded down with advertising matter, as pictured herewith. This is one of the many shipments of dealer advertising material that the Melrose Bros. Music Co. is sending to the trade introducing the new “blues” number, “Sidewalk Blues.”

click to enlarge

Shipping Advertising Material on “Sidewalk Blues”

The company has launched one of the largest advertising campaigns ever attempted to introduce an instrumental “blues” number and the photograph shows that with the first shipment of advertising matter, with Walter Melrose, head of the company, in the background, directing the work, it is off with a flying start.

In addition to special window cards, streamers and miscellaneous advertising matter which is being supplied the dealers, the campaign includes a country-wide sidewalk campaign calculated to put over forcefully the message of this new song, which is predicted will be the greatest “blues” number ever published by the “House of Blues” with its record of popular hits.

This sidewalk campaign will soon be inaugurated in the leading cities throughout the country. The plan includes a corps of men who walk the streets with large signs carrying the name of the song and picture of the title page. With the advertising material that has been supplied the dealers, as well as the recording of the number on Victor records, this makes an excellent tie-up and will no doubt greatly increase dealers’ sales of sheet music and records.

“Sidewalk Blues” has been recorded on Victor records by “Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, an exclusive Victor orchestra. Upon its initial release it enjoyed an unprecedented demand for a “blues” number. “Jelly Roll” Morton wrote the music for the number.
[RHP]

Peter Hanley sends the following rare review, which appeared in the Melody Maker, dated January 1927.


Melody Maker

Melody Maker (London, England) January 1927

The Chant / Black-bottom Stomp
Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers
HMV B5164

A band of which I have not hitherto heard called Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers is introduced to us in “The Chant” and “Black-bottom Stomp,” both hot Charleston numbers. No one can say that the musicians are not wonderful performers. Nevertheless, we are treated to an exhibition of blues and jazz, not as it is today, but as it was six years ago. The fact that this is about the best record to have come across for Charleston dancing, owing to the hot rhythm behind it, certainly does excuse the fact that it is crude in organization and poor amusement to listen to.

 Ate van Delden sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 12th February 1927, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 7, Section 1, page 38, column 2.



The Music Trade Review

New Melrose Novelty

CHICAGO, ILL., February 5. — A novelty song has been issued by the Melrose Bros. Music Co., entitled “Doctor Jazz.” It is written by Joe Oliver and arranged by Mel Stitzel, and will no doubt be an exceptionally popular number for vaudeville and other entertainment. “Someday Sweetheart,” also published by the Melrose Bros. Music Co., is enjoying a large demand from the trade.

Karl Ellison sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 19th February 1927, part 1, page 6, column 3.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Jelly Roll Morton is still the big noise in Chicago, Jelly says. After him, there are no others. He is at least advertising himself. A good idea.

 Vince Giordano sends the following rare article from The Music Trade Review, dated Saturday, 12th March 1927, Vol. LXXXIV, No. 11, Section 1, page 31, columns 2—3.



The Music Trade Review

Some Effective Publicity
for “Doctor Jazz” Song


Melrose Bros. Music Co. Launches a Special
Campaign on Number – “Eccentric” Ford
Attracts Wide Attention

CHICAGO, ILL., March 7. — Melrose Bros. Music Co. has launched a campaign to feature the popular novelty song hit that they have recently issued, entitled “Doctor Jazz.”

An “eccentric” ford has been designed and carries a quaint “doctor” who hands out prescriptions for a cure of the “blues,” which is no other than the Melrose song hit, “Doctor Jazz.” It is said that a news reel has been made of this novelty joy wagon, which will be shown in theatres throughout the country, and as a tie-up the Melrose Bros. Co. are issuing window signs and streamers for the dealers.

The number has been recorded by leading record companies, including the popular recording by “Jelly Roll” Morton, for Victor records.

Peter Hanley sends the following rare review, which appeared in the Melody Maker, dated April 1927.


Melody Maker

Melody Maker (London, England) April 1927

Sidewalk Blues
Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers
HMV B5212

There is nothing much out of the ordinary rut in any one of the HMV recordings issued this month except “Sidewalk Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, the extraordinary point about which is that it was ever issued at all, as it is hopelessly old-fashioned in style, even if the musicians can play their instruments, and recalls the “Original Dixieland Jazz Band.”

Note: The reverse of HMV B5212 is Swamp Blues by Art Landry and His Orchestra.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 23rd April 1927, page 9, column 3.


The Baltimore Afro American

The Newest Music By Record Stars

Blues that are of the deepest indigo jazz that stress rhythm to an extraordinary degree, congregational singing that preserves all the atmosphere and sincerity out of which the blues were born, are to be found in some of the most recent recordings by nationally famous musicians.

It would be difficult to find jazz that is calculated to stimulate lagging feet to the same degree as a new Victor recording by the Dixieland Jug Blowers of “Don’t Give All the Lard Away,” with a vocal story of the borrowing deacon, and Jazzbo Green’s pathetic appeal to his mother to “save some more for a rainy day.” It is a rare combination of laughable lines and spontaneous, red-hot jazz. The companion number, “House Rent Rag,” is equally foot-teasing.

And those who have not heard Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra have something to look forward to in the way of high temperature jazz. This famous organization is represented in the new Victor list of Race records with “Midnight Mamma,” and “Missouri Wobble.”

Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, whose name is accurately descriptive, have just recorded a stomp entitled “Grandpa’s Spells,” played in a manner which would indicate that grandpa was a gay old bird with foot as active as that of a twenty-year-old high stepper. With it is recorded “Cannonball Blues,” by the same organization, and it is as blue as a Monday washtub.

Other high spots in the Victor list are two stomp numbers by the Savoy Bearcats, “Stampede,” and “Hot Notes”; two characteristic songs by that inimitable blues singer, Edna Winston, “Pail In My Hand,” and “Mamma’s Gonna Drop Your Curtain;” and Thomas Waller, the distinguished Vendome Theater, Chicago, organist at his best with “Rusty Pail Blues,” and “Sloppy Water Blues.”

Rev. J. M. Gates and his little congregation have become a recording favorite in the last few months. Their most recent Victor record contains two stirring sermons, “Moses in the Wilderness,” and “Hebrew Children in the Fiery Furnace.”

Deacon A. Wilson is also responsible for an unusual revival record, on one side of which is “You Need Jesus On Your Side,” and on the other is “Certainly Lord.” Some exceptionally musical voices are heard in the congregational singing.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 7th May 1927, part 1, page 9, column 1.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Cooke and his orchestra played to packed houses at the Twentieth Century theater, Chicago, for the last two weeks. They will open at White City ballroom in a few weeks for a summer engagement.

Richard Jones, the composer, is a factor on the staff of the Okeh Record company. Recently he was in charge of the Race recording department of the Consolidated Talking Machine company, Chicago.

Jelly Roll Morton is one of our cleverest jazz composers. His latest number, “The Sidewalk Blues,” is a current sensation.

Louis Armstrong’s orchestra at the Sunset cafe, Chicago, has added Darnell Howard in its line-up. The bunch is hitting in fine shape now.

Fats Waller, who made a hit for a week or two at the Vendome theater, Chicago, is now in New York. Sorry to lose Fats as all Chicago was wild about his clever playing on the huge Vendome pipe organ. Come again, Fats.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 11th June 1927, part 1, page 8, column 4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Richard Jones

Here is a self-made musician, one who has looked out for himself and today stands high in the music world. He was the chief recording manager for the Consolidated Music company, distributors of Okeh records, until he resigned several months ago. The gang laughed at him as they did Clarence Williams, the now wealthy New York publisher, but Richard kept plugging, paying no attention to kidding knockers. Today he is in a class by himself. A fine music arranger and composer is Richard and is constantly sought after by the trade. His home is in New Orleans, La.

Jelly Roll Recording

The well-known Jelly Roll Morton is busy these days with his De Luxe dance orchestra, recording for the Victor Phonograph corporation. The recordings are taking place in Chicago. Several of Jelly Roll’s latest compositions will soon be released.

Notes

Red Simmons, the actor, has turned out to be a clever pianist. This writer heard him at the Dreamland recently playing a piece with Sammy’s bunch. Red played some difficult novel musical figures that Clarence Jones, the finest popular pianist of our group, would envy.

Bud Scott, the clever banjoist with the Cafe De Paris orchestra, is recording special arrangements with Jelly Roll Morton’s bunch.

Bennie Moten and his orchestra of Kansas City, Mo., will be in Chicago next week to record for the Victor people.

Howard Rye and Prof. Alan Wallace send the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 18th June 1927, part 1, page 6, columns 2—3.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Things in General

Terry’s Nightingales

Frank Terry and his Nightingales are hitting strong through the state of Ohio. They are making good for our group of musicians. Everywhere they play the call is for return dates, so perfect is this organization of gentlemen musicians.

On Memorial day they began a weeks’ engagement at Lake Brady, Ohio, and registered an instant hit with the Ohio dance fans. J. Frank Terry is a fine musician and arranger and also has to his credit some twenty novel compositions. They specialize in solo work and singing. The manager of this bunch recently payed this writer a visit and is making every endeavor for Chicagoans to hear this wonderful orchestra in the near future.

Leads Silas Green Band

Fountain Woods, the famous trombonist and all-around first-class musician, has the Silas Green show band under his capable direction. Fountain Woods is a member of the Chicago local, the genuine goods, well seasoned in the art and will carry this show band to the top of the ladder. For many seasons he was a member of the Famous Georgia Minstrel band and has directed many other musical organizations all over the country.

Chas. Collier has made no mistake in selecting this musician for the honored position of band master on his show. This writer wishes him a mountain of success in his new position.

Memphis Jug Band

Coming to the Grand theater week of the 20th as a part of the Butter Beans and Susie vaudeville revue is the famous Memphis Jug band. They are ever popular as Victor recording artists and play music that you will fall in love with at first hearing.

What a bill this will be week of the 20th, with all star acts, burning hot off of the Orpheum circuit griddle.

People are already talking about the Butter and Sue revue. These favorite entertainers have just finished a successful season over the Columbia wheel as stars in the well-known Jimmy Cooper revue.

Orchestras at Victory Ball

Not since the Okeh Record company held their ball in the Coliseum, Chicago, several years ago, under the auspices of the Musician’s local 208, have such representative musical organizations been gotten together. The Victory ball, held June 9 in the Eighth Regiment armory under the auspices of the Regular Second Ward organization, was one of the grandest affairs ever given in Chicago. Fully 5,000 people gathered in the spacious hall to do honor to their leaders, Alderman Louis B. Anderson and Hon. Daniel Jackson. Under the guidance of these gentlemen the Second ward swung solid for the present administration, and that is the sole reason for the Victory ball.

A club house and community center is planned for the immediate future with the proceeds of the affair. Chicago’s premier orchestra furnished the music for the occasion. Every cabaret in the district was dark on that night and they all sent their floor shows and orchestras to do honor to the occasion. Dave Peyton had full charge of the entertainment and orchestral end.

The Cafe De Paris orchestra and show presented a show that was easily worth the $4 price. The music, costumes and principals were 100 per cent perfection. Heavy was the applause for this section of the evening’s entertainment.

The Sunset show and orchestra followed with a thunderous show, speed and plenty of it. They danced, they black bottomed, they strutted and did everything else to make merry.

Sammy Stewart’s orchestra played fine music at the south end of the hall representing the Dreamland cafe. Dave Peyton and his orchestra represented the Cafe De Paris. Erskine Tate and his orchestra represented the Vendome theater and Louis Armstrong and his orchestra represented the Sunset cafe.

Lew La Mar was the polite and jovial master of ceremonies and kept things on the hum at all times. The two political masters, Louis B. Anderson and Daniel Jackson, were all smiles when the orchestra played “Home, Sweet Home” at 5 a.m. and each had an expression that their ardent efforts had been crowned with success.

Frank Kirk

Frank Kirk, “The Musical Tramp,” after finishing the season with Barton’s “Shufflin’ Sam From Alabam” show, is resting at his home in Jacksonville, Ill. He will be seen next season in his own musical comedy show called, “A Lucky Dixie Tramp.”

Louis Armstrong’s Books

The popular jazz cornetist, Louis Armstrong, has completed two books comprising his famous music tricks on the cornet. One book contains 125 jazz breaks and the other contains 100 jazz choruses of popular jazz numbers.

The Melrose Music Publishing company are putting out both books, which already a great demand has been created for. Louis Armstrong is a fine example for ambition and thrift. He is always trying to do something, he is always trying to create some form and style in jazz playing that will bring him distinction. This he has accomplished. The finest white musicians from the finest orchestras in Chicago and elsewhere wend their way to the Sunset cafe where Louis plays nightly, just to hear him play things that they want to learn. They have offered him fabulous sums to show them his tricks. Now the world can get them as Louis has compiled them in book form.

Much credit must be given to the Melrose company, who have done more than any other agency in the country to put our musicians and writers to the front. At the present time, they have Jelly Roll Morton, King Joe Oliver and Louis Armstrong as their staff writers. They are largely responsible for these musicians and their orchestras recording for the Victor Phonograph company. They have opened the door of opportunity for our musicians, so let us make good for them. So far we are proud of these three writers, and if the Melrose company takes on any other of our writers, let them strive to make the same success that Armstrong, Morton and Oliver have made.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 2nd July 1927, part 1, page 8, column 3.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Things in General

Sam Wooding and his Superb orchestra is the hit of South America. They are playing at the Casino El Primer music hall, Buenos Aires, S.A. The bunch came here after a successful two years of playing the principal cities of Europe. On the continent they made a wonderful reputation for themselves and are repeating the same success in the South American city. After their contract is finished in Buenos Aires they will entrain for the big city of New York, where they hold a contract for one of Broadway’s well known night clubs. The writer thanks the boys for the picture.

Heard’s Bunch

Ravernel Heard and his Six Sharks of Syncopation are motoring through the state of Wisconsin . . .

B. Minor’s Melodians

B. Minor’s Melodians are playing a summer engagement at Winona Beach, Bay City, Mich.

Deppe Makes Long Run

Luis B. Deppe, well known soloist and orchestral conductor, is now working his 67th week at the Empress theater, Columbus, Ohio. A record to be sure . . .

Recording Race Musicians

The significant contribution of the Negro to the music of America is increasingly apparent in the work of Race musicians and composers of today. Blues that are of the deepest indigo, jazz that stresses rhythm to an extraordinary degree, congregational singing that preserves all of the atmosphere and sincerity out of which the spirituals were born, are to be found in some of the more recent recordings by nationally famous Race musicians.

It would be difficult to find jazz that is calculated to stimulate lagging feet to the same degree as a new Victor recording by the Dixieland Jug Blowers of “Don’t Give All the Lord Away,” with a vocal solo story of the borrowing deacon, and Jazzbo Green’s pathetic appeal to his mother to “save some more for a rainy day.” It is a rare combination of laughable lines and spontaneous, red hot jazz. The companion number, “House Rent Rag,” is equally foot teasing.

And those who have not heard Bennie Moten’s Kansas City orchestra have something to look forward to in the way of high temperature jazz. This famous organization is represented in the new Victor list of Race records by “Midnight Mama” and “Missouri Wobble.”

Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, whose name is accurately descriptive, have just recorded a stomp entitled “Granpa (Grandpa’s) Spells,” played in a manner which would indicate that grandpa was a gay old bird with a foot as active as that of a 20-year-old high stepper. With it is recorded “Cannonball Blues,” by the same organization, and it is blue as a Monday washtub.

Other high spots in the Victor list are two stomp numbers by the Savoy Bearcats, “Stampede” and “Hot Notes,” two characteristic songs by that inimitable blues singer, Edna Winston, “Pail In My Hands,” and “Mamma’s Gonna Drop Your Curtain,” and Thomas Waller, the distinguished Vedome (Vendome) theater, Chicago, organist at his best with “Rusty Pail Blues” and “Sloppy Water Blues.”

Rev. J. M. Gates and his little congregation have become a recording favorite in the last few months. Their most recent Victor record contains two stirring sermons, “Moses in the Wilderness,” and “Hebrew Children in the Fiery Furnace.” . . .

Sue Attalla sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Thursday, 14th July 1927, page 1, columns 4—5.


The Daily News Standard

THE ORIGINATOR OF JAZZ AND STOMPS
“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
Composer of “Milenberg Joys,” “King Porter Stomp,”
“Black Bottom Stomp,” “Wolverine Blues,” etc.  And His

RED HOT PEPPERS
Victor Recording Orchestra
AT SHADY GROVE PARK, FRI. EVE. AND SUNDAY
A Dozen Dusky Devastators of Depression.  “Hotter”
Than The Devil’s Kitchen.



THE WOLVERINES
Clive Wilson’s
New Orleans Serenaders

Sue Attalla sends the following pictorial advert, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Thursday, 14th July 1927, page 1, column 7.


The Morning Herald

Quaking, Quivering, Shaking
Shivering Creole Jazz from New
Orleans by the Illustrious Composer of
“Milenberg Joys,” “Wolverine Blues,”
“Jelly Roll Blues”

“Jelly Roll” Morton
The “Meanest” Piano Man Who
Ever Made The Ivories Behave
— And His —

Red Hot Peppers
Victor Recording Orchestra
At Shady Grove Park.  Friday
Dancing 9 To 1 — Concerts Sunday
— Offering —
Dance Music That Rocks Your
Soul With Its Irresistible Rhythms

For about a year beginning in the summer of 1927, the then-young Music Corporation of America booked the touring version of Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, a conventional big band of the period, consisting of a ten-piece group of three reeds, three brass, and four rhythm. An eleventh man was the second pianist Morton often hired. M.C.A. staff member, Karl Kramer tells a major part of the story in his fascinating and revealing article: JELLY ROLL IN CHICAGO (1927).

The article first appeared in The Second Line (1961), and has since been reprinted under the slightly different title of JELLY ROLL IN CHICAGO: THE MISSING YEARS in The Ragtimer (1967), Laurie Wright’s Mr. Jelly Lord (1980)
[MJL 104-108], and William Russell’s Oh, Mister Jelly (1999). [OMJ 402-407] Anyone interested in Jelly Roll Morton simply must read the whole piece, as it is designed to place into context some newly-discovered advertising material.

Don Marquis, together with The New Orleans Jazz Club, have kindly granted me permission to publish the article, titled: JELLY ROLL IN CHICAGO (1927) by Karl Kramer. This full-scale article was serialised in The Second Line magazine, dated January—February 1961, Vol. 12, Nos. 1 & 2, pages 1, 3, 5—6, 23, 25—26 and March—April 1961, Vol. 12, Nos. 3 & 4, pages 19—22. Special thanks to Don Marquis, Daniel Meyer and Michael Hill.

Jelly Roll in Chicago (1927)
by Karl Kramer

Among the Music Corporation of America engagements, for which advertising material has been found, is two weeks at the famous Crystal Beach Amusement Park, Ontario, Canada resort, located a short distance west across Lake Erie from Buffalo. This engagement, featuring Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, began on Monday, 25th July and ended on Sunday, 7th August 1927.

On 2nd October 1924, plans were approved for what would become the park’s famous Dance Pavilion. Opening 1st May 1925, as the Crystal Ballroom, it was advertised as The Quarter Million Dollar hall, although it was actually built for $80,790. The incredible 3,500 square meter floor could hold up to 3,000 dancers at once. It was so large that the orchestras and bands of the time performed on an octagonal stage, dead center of the dance area. Above the stage were eight curved wood reflectors that directed the sound out toward the floor in order to have the music reach all areas. In 1927 the Amusement Park added the gigantic Cyclone roller coaster. Built by Harry Traver, it was one of three similar rides built in North America, and was considered one of the most vicious coasters ever built.

The information below comes from researcher and author Mark Miller of Toronto, Canada, who points out that the band Morton fronted was the Alabamians. The musicians were: Jelly Roll Morton, Elisha Herbert, Eddie Mallory, Chas. Turner, Artie Starks, Jimmy McHendricks, Ikey Robinson, Marion Hardy, Warner Seals, Henry Clarke and Henry Crowder.
[H 217]

Randolph Herr sends a pictorial advert announcing Jelly Roll Morton’s forthcoming appearance at Crystal Beach, Ontario from The Buffalo Evening News, dated Saturday, 23rd July 1927, page 5, columns 7—8.


The Buffalo Evening News

DANCE
ALL NEXT WEEK TO THE TOE-TINGLING, SOUL
STIRRING MUSIC BY THE WORLD FAMOUS

‘JELLY ROLL’ MORTON
AND HIS
“RED HOT PEPPERS”
AMERICA’S PREMIER COLORED JAZZ BAND.

Randolph Herr sends a pictorial advert for Jelly Roll Morton’s appearance at Crystal Beach, Ontario from The Buffalo Evening News, dated Monday, 1st August 1927, page 18, columns 7—8.


The Buffalo Evening News

DANCE
ALL THIS WEEK
TO ZIPPY AIRS FROM DIXIE-LAND BY

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
AND HIS
RED HOT PEPPERS.

A photograph of Jelly Roll Morton at Crystal Beach follows page 260 in James Dapogny’s Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton: The Collected Piano Music.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 30th July 1927, part 1, page 8.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Jelly Roll Morton

The popular Jelly Roll Morton, composer and pianist, is heading his jazz band to the East. He sails under the banner of the Music Corporation of America, and is the first Race organization that this booking concern has had on its books.

NOTES

Louis Armstrong and his orchestra have been playing an extra engagement at the Black Hawk grill, an eat and dance cafe in Chicagos (Chicago’s) Loop district. The engagement is for two weeks only. The management wanted to cut the band from 12 players to six and the boys stood out for all or close the job and the two weeks’ compromise was made.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 20th August 1927, part 1, page 8, column 4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

Things in General

Crowder’s Letter

Dear Dave:

I have intended writing you a letter for some time, but having been so busy I have neglected doing so.

You probably by this time have heard many reasons why I suddenly left Beverly gardens. Well the main reason was because the management wanted me to make changes in my orchestra that I refused to make, and because of the autocratic attitude they wanted to assume over the orchestra. I demanded they keep hands off my band and insisted on this point until when I saw they were getting worse in their attitude, instead of better, I simply handed them my notice. I have no regrets and no ill-feeling. We just could not agree so I quit. He tried to break up the band, even had some members of the Jeffry (Jeffrey) band try to help him, but without success. The boys stuck together to a man. I wish the boys at Beverly now every success.

I wrote you a card some few days ago which I hope you received O.K.

The band and I, intact, are now on the M.C.A. dance circuit under the banner of Jelly Roll. My band was the only one acceptable to the M.C.A. but for financial reasons I was induced to accept Jelly as a front man. We have been going over big everywhere. We are following such bands as Vincent Lopes (Lopez), Fletcher Henderson, Jack Crawford, Egyptian Serenaders and Dave, I tell you truthfully we are getting more praise than any of the big noises.

Everything is going nicely at present. I find Jelly to be swell-headed, but altogether a pretty good sort of a fellow.

This is only a temporary arrangement, and I expect to again be sailing under my own flag soon.

Best of luck to you and the boys. We are still headed East, but we are getting so many requests for return engagement, I don’t know just where we go next.

Henry Crowder.

The next rediscovered advertisements for Morton’s group are for what Karl Kramer recalled as the band’s combination debut and swan song as a stage act, complete with dancers and female vocalist.

Prof. Alan Wallace sends the following series of stunning pictorial advertisements, which were printed in The Milwaukee Journal on the 16th August 1927, page 21, column 2; 17th August 1927, page 22, column 2; 18th August 1927, page 8, column 1; 19th August 1927, page 19, column 1; 20th August 1927, page 4, column 2; 21st August 1927, page 6, column 3; 22nd August 1927, page 15, column 2; 23rd August 1927, page 15, column 1; 24th August 1927, page 22, column 1 and finally on 25th August 1927, page 25, columns 3—4.

The Music Corporation of America promoted engagement commenced Saturday, 20th August 1927 and ran for one week at the prestigious Alhambra Theater. The opening of Morton’s show, along with the movie “The Lone Eagle”, coincided with Charles Lindbergh’s triumphal parade through the city streets.

The Milwaukee Journal

The Milwaukee Journal, 19th August 1927, page 19

The Alhambra Theater, 334 West Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee opened in 1896 as The Uihlein Theater, but after a few months changed it name to the Alhambra Theater. It was modelled after an English music hall and had a checkroom for bicycles on the second floor, served tea to patrons and had several bars that sold Schlitz beer. The combining of beer with the theater had some mixed blessings when customers started bouncing the beer bottles down the stairs if they didn’t like the show. A local girl, Theodosia Goodman, later known as Theda Bara, an anagram for “Arab Death,” became quite well known at the theater for her daring costumes and racy dialogue. Chicago-born percussionist Vic Berton, one of the premier and best-remembered white jazz drummers of the 1920s also performed at the Alhambra Theater at the age of 8. The theater was demolished in 1959.

Following the Alhambra Theater engagement in Milwaukee — possibly with other engagements intervening — Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers travelled to Galena, Illinois, a distance of 160 miles from Milwaukee, for a one-night appearance at the Royal Palais Ballroom on Tuesday, 30th August 1927. It is possible that between the appearances in Milwaukee and Galena, they played in Chicago, only 90 miles from Milwaukee. Morton’s occasional sideman Punch Miller mentioned that the band returned periodically to Chicago and played at the Jeffrey Tavern.

Sue Attalla sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Plaza Theatre, Waterloo, Iowa from the Waterloo Evening Courier, dated Friday, 26th August 1927, page 17, columns 2—3.


Waterloo Evening Courier

Engagement Extraordinary
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28
One Day Only Matinee & Eve.
Originator of Jazz and Stomps

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
AND HIS TWELVE
RED HOT PEPPERS
World Famous Victor Recording Orchestra — Hot Creole Jazz
from New Orleans — Their first appearance
in the middle west.

Come to the Matinees at 2:30 and 4:30 Next
Sunday!  There will be crowds at night.

Sue Attalla sends the following article promoting Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Plaza Theatre, Waterloo, Iowa from the Waterloo Evening Courier, dated Saturday, 27th August 1927, page 11, column 1.


Waterloo Evening Courier

RED HOT PEPPERS
ADDED ORCHESTRA
AT PLAZA SUNDAY


“Jelly Roll” Morton, Composer
and Pianist, Director of
Organization.

“Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, described as the colored orchestra that plays “hot Creole music a la New Orleans,” comes to the Plaza theatre Sunday for one day only, as an added attraction for the closing Plaza program before the six-day shut up for stage improvements.

Morton’s colored organization is said to be one of the outstanding musical aggregations of the country. “Jelly Roll” Morton, director of the orchestra, is a composer and fine pianist, who has made many piano rolls by himself and dozens of Victor records with his orchestra, advance notices advise.

He is credited with such compositions as “Milenberg Joys,” “King Porter Stomp,” “Sidewalk Blues,” “Wolverine Blues” and “Black Bottom Stomp,” pieces included in the repertoire of dance orchestras in this country and in Europe.

“Besides their weird, palpitating jazz harmonies and sweep-you-off-your-feet rhythms,” the publicity from the booking office says, “the Red Hot Peppers have an entertainment as versatile as a vaudeville performance,” adding that “Jelly Roll” Morton “has prepared a special dance program for his engagement at the Plaza featuring original renditions of many of his own compositions.”

The show now at the Plaza, “Sweet Rosy O’Grady” on the screen, and Sorrentino Four in a musical act on the stage, will be held over Sunday.

Prof. Albert Haim sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Plaza Theatre, Waterloo, Iowa from the Waterloo Evening Courier, dated Saturday, 27th August 1927, page 11, columns 6—8.


Waterloo Evening Courier

Engagement Extraordinary
TOMORROWSUNDAY
One Day Only Matinee & Eve.
Originator of Jazz and Stomps.

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
AND HIS TWELVE
RED HOT PEPPERS
World Famous Victor Recording Orchestra
Hot Creole Jazz from New Orleans!
Their first appearance in the Middle West

Avoid Disappointment!
Seats Without Waiting at the 2:30 and 4:30
Matinees — Also at 6:30 and 9.

Daryl Watson, Executive Director, Galena Historical Society and Museum and Steve Repp of the Historical Collections Room of the Galena Public Library, send the following preview, which appeared in The Galena Daily Gazette, dated Saturday, 27th August 1927.


The Galena Daily Gazette

“Jelly Roll” Morton Brings
His Marvelous Colored
Orchestra to Royal Palais

The man who made jazz! The man who plays jazz on the piano, on Victor records and Q.R.S. piano rolls, as no other pianist in the world can do! The man who composed more “blues” and “stomps” than Verdi wrote operas! The man who leads the most quaking, quivering, shaking, shivering colored orchestra on the face of the globe (or below it)!

That’s “Jelly Roll” Morton, composer par excellence, originator of jazz and stomps, the most striking modern musical figure of his race. And he’s bringing his superb syncopating dance orchestra, the Red Hot Peppers, to the Royal Palais next Tuesday, August 30.

It is generally conceded that true jazz with its sweeping rhythms, weird harmonies and mournful moods, originated in the South. And it was “Jelly Roll” Morton who more than any other individual has developed this style of music into an art, which has attained a vogue not only in this country but also in Europe.

Way back on 1913, Mr. Morton wrote what is considered the first jazz number, the famous “Jelly Roll” Blues. This number has never lost its popularity though it has been, and is, played by every dance orchestra in the nation. Since then, “Jelly Roll” has given at least fifty or more creative compositions to the public, including such smashing hits “Milenberg Joys,” “Wolverine Blues,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” “King Porter Stomp,” and “New Orleans Blues.”

The same spirit and jubilation which makes his music so original is present in “Jelly Rolls” Orchestra, the Red Hot Peppers. These dozen dusky devastators of depression present a program of dance music which contains comedy, harmony duos and trios, specially staged scenes, and above all irresistible rhythms which beat into your brain like a tomtom drum.

Remember Tuesday, Aug. 30. No dance Wednesday.


Note: Completed in 1925, the Royal Palais Ballroom attracted as many as 2,500 people who came to dance to music provided by the likes of Guy Lombardo, Louis Armstrong, Tiny Hill, Jelly Roll Morton, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. In 1982 portions of the ballroom were ripped up, and the building was finally demolished in 1998 when the site was developed for housing and commercial premises.

Brian Goggin sends the following review of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Plaza Theatre, Waterloo, Iowa from the Waterloo Evening Courier, dated Monday, 29th August 1927, page 11, column 6.


Waterloo Evening Courier

Good Music at Plaza Sunday.

“Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, well deserved the enthusiastic welcome given to them by patrons of the Plaza during their one day engagement at that theatre Sunday as an added attraction to the last half of the week bill held over an extra day. The rhythm and tone of this well-known orchestra was highly appreciated by the music loving audience whose applause brought the jazz kings back a number of times. Almost everything in the way of novelty was offered, including a piano number by the composer, “Jelly Roll” Morton; banjo solos by a snappy little player; a quartet number “calling” and a spiritualistic dance and song in which the whole orchestra was included.

A small advertisement also appeared in The Galena Daily Gazette, dated Tuesday, 30th August 1927. Courtesy of Steve Repp of the Historical Collections Room of the Galena Public Library.


The Galena Daily Gazette

Local Notes

The biggest treat in the history of the Royal Palais, tonite — Jelly Roll Morton and his 12 Red Hot Peppers. America’s Hottest Colored Band. Jazz music and entertainment that you’ll remember for years. — Advertisment.

The following small advertisement is for the Music Corporation of America promoted one-night appearance of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at the Royal Palais Ballroom, Galena, dated Tuesday, 30th August 1927. This advert, probably from The Galena Daily Gazette, is part of the Henry Villalapando (Villalpando) Ford Collection and is now housed in the Historic New Orleans Collection. Courtesy of Alfred Lemmon, director of the Williams Research Center, HNOC.

Click here to enlarge view of advert

© Historic New Orleans Collection

The following pictorial handbill measures 9-inch by 6-inch and is for the Music Corporation of America promoted one-night appearance of “Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at the Royal Palais Ballroom, Galena, on Tuesday, 30th August 1927. The handbill is one of a number of additional loose documents, which in addition to a 58-page scrapbook, compiled by Jelly Roll Morton, forms the central feature of the Henry Villalapando (Villalpando) Ford Collection. It is now housed in the Historic New Orleans Collection. Courtesy of Alfred Lemmon, director of the Williams Research Center, HNOC.

For further details about the discovery of the handbill and a 58-page scrapbook, compiled by Jelly Roll Morton, it is recommended that “Dead Man Blues — Jelly Roll Morton Way Out West” by Phil Pastras be consulted.
[DMB]

Click here to enlarge view of handbill

© Historic New Orleans Collection

Print notices, not just advertising, Kramer’s article, and interviews with sidemen in the group: Punch Miller, Hayes Alvis and Ikey Robinson, report appearances in unnamed towns and in specific cities namely, Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Illinois (Herrin, including return engagements, Chicago), Missouri (St. Louis, Kansas City), Indiana (Gary), Michigan (Lansing), Ohio (Cincinnati, Springfield, Dayton, Youngstown, Cleveland), Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia), Virginia, West Virginia (Wheeling), New York City (Harlem Opera House on 125th Street), at the Midwest’s Big Ten Universities and in Canada, with periodic returns to Chicago’s Jeffrey Tavern. The tour seems to have ended c. February 1928, about a month before Morton moved to New York City.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 3rd September 1927, page 6, column 5.


The Baltimore Afro American

IN MUSICAL REALMS

By DAVE PEYTON

Morton’s Band Opposes Paul Ash Policy

MILWAUKEE — “Jellyroll” Morton and his band are scheduled to run here at the Alhambra Theatre early this month.

Morton’s band is under the management of the Music Coropration (Corporation) of America. The Alhambra is importing the orchestra to create opposition to other theatres which have adopted the Paul Ash policy (stage band).

Note: The item above, concerning Morton’s appearance at the Alhambra Theatre, looks very likely to be stale news. In correspondence with me, Prof. James Dapogny wrote that he believes this was an old press release that the Baltimore Afro-American was just getting around to printing.

Fletcher Henderson Closes at Congress

NEW YORK — Fletcher Henderson and his orchestra have closed their four week’s engagement at the Congress Hotel, Chicago and will re-open here at the Roseland later in the season.

Henderson’s band, one of the best drawing attractions in America, has been a fixture at the Roseland for several years. The new engagement will last until January, 1928.

Duke Ellington Scores in New England

BOSTON — Duke Ellington and his Washingtonians are in their ninth week of a New England tour, and drawing considerable comment from the press.

The Salem Sunday Tribune in a recent issue devoted a column and a half to a feature article on the organization. Ellington was formerly of the Kentucky Club, New York. He is a native of Washington.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Chicago Defender, dated Saturday, 31st December 1927, part 1, page 6, columns 3—4.


The Chicago Defender

THE MUSICAL BUNCH

By DAVE PEYTON

The Alabamians

The Alabamia(ns), directed by Lawrence Harrison [illegible . . .] definite engagement at the Plantation cafe, Chicago, Dec. 28. In the combination are 10 first class musicians who have startled the musical bunch with their peppy playing and unusual musicianship. The orchestra was formerly under the direction of Jelly Roll, but since coming under the direction of Lawrence Harrison they have been improved with special arrangements that make them a stand out unit. The boys are all college graduates most all are in their early 20s.

Prof. Alan Wallace sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 28th January 1928, page 8, column 4.


The Baltimore Afro American

Heywood Jones

Jones was born in Kansas City, but reared in Los Angeles. He was the first partner of “Sunshine Sammy.” Eight years ago he started with “Jellyroll” Morton and his band as a singer. Later he entered the western company of Chappelle and Stinette’s “Kentucky Sue.”

By some twist of fate he was able to be the first race entertainer hired by the Sebastian Cotton Club in Los Angeles. Jones worked with Mildred Washington and Miss Snowden there during his stay.

Note: “Sunshine Sammy” (Frederick Ernest Morrison) is best known for his role as “Scruno” in the East Side Kids movies.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 28th January 1928, page 8, column 6.


The Baltimore Afro American

In Chicago Theatres

AT PLANTATION

George Staten, one of our cleverest exponents of the Russian terpsichorean, is now affiliated with the New Plantation Café revue.

IN MICHIGAN

Benny Keys has been booked for a night club at Grand Rapids for a period of over three weeks.

DANCING TEAM WITH JELLY ROLL MORTON

Charlie and Lawrence, former tap dancing team of S. H. Dudley’s, Jr. “Ginger Snaps” Revue, are now working with ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton and his Red Hot Peppers.

After spending a few days in Chicago the aggregation will head toward Los Angeles over the Orpheum circuit for a period of at least 40 weeks.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 10th March 1928, page 7, column 4.


The Baltimore Afro American

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON WRITING MUSIC IN N.Y.

NEW YORK. — “Jelly Roll” Morton, orchestra leader and composer of jazz music, is here collaborating with Chris Smith in writing new tunes. Morton comes from Chicago.

Mike Montgomery sends the following article, appeared in the Variety, dated Wednesday, 8th August 1928.


Variety

HERE AND THERE

William [sic] (Jelly Roll) Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, while playing an engagement at Danceland, 125th street, and Seventh avenue, are also making some Victor records.

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 18th August 1928, page 8, column 2.


The Baltimore Afro American

Morton Makes Records

NEW YORK. — William [sic] (Jelly Roll) Morton, composer and “hot” orchestra leader, is making a number of phonograph records here while playing an engagement at the Dreamland.

HEAT DEFEATS ART THEATRE

NEW YORK. — The merciless heat proved too much for the summer activities of the Negro Art Theatre here in Greenwich Village and the project has been given up after four weeks of a contracted ten.

An article of special interest, titled “That Cat Stopped My Show Cold” appeared in the Storyville magazine, issue No. 135, dated September 1988. [J 86-94]  Both Laurie and Peggy Wright interviewed pianist “Nick” Rodriguez at his home in New York City. During the interview, Nick revealed that he had joined Morton’s band on 8th December 1928 and had travelled with fellow band members for an engagement in York, Pennsylvania on the same evening.

On a visit to York, Pennsylvania, Prof. James Dapogny followed this up by checking the archives of local newspapers, and discovered that Morton’s band had indeed appeared at the ALCAZAR “The Ballroom Beautiful” on Saturday, 8th December 1928.

The York Dispatch printed pictorial advertisements for this engagement beginning 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th with the final one appearing on 8th December 1928.

The advert for 3rd December describes the band as JELLY ROLL MORTON AND SEE (HIS) RED HOT PEPPERS. Going one better, the adverts for 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th December 1928 mentions a list of the band’s Victor hits and shows that Grandpa’s Spells has been re-titled Grandma’s Spec’s.

 The next scheduled appearance of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers was at a dance held at the American Legion, Shamokin, Pennsylvania on Friday, 21st December 1928.

 Mark Miller sends the following pictorial advert for a previously unknown engagement featuring Jelly Roll Morton and his Victor Recording Orchestra at the Geo. F. Pavilion, Johnson City, NY, from The Binghamton Press, dated Friday, 4th January 1929, page 20, column 4.



The Binghampton Press

DANCE
Friday Night
GEO. F. PAVILION
Johnson City
Music by
JELLY ROLL
MORTON

and his
Victor Recording Orchestra
Author of
“Millenberg (sic) Joys,” “Wolverine
Blues,” “Jelly Roll Blues” and
many others.

Note: The Geo. F. Pavilion in Johnson City, NY was built in 1926 and gave residents the chance to hear and dance to the “big bands.” Two thousand people could fit into the pavilion. People paid 25 cents to hear local bands, while large orchestras played on Fridays and cost 50 cents. Benny Goodman, Glen Miller, the Dorseys and others appeared; but Guy Lombardo held the attendance record with more than 4,000 people at his concert.

 Mark Miller sends the following advert for a previously unknown radio broadcast featuring Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers at the George F. Pavilion, Johnson City, NY, from The Binghamton Press, dated Friday, 4th January 1929, page 8, column 5.



The Binghampton Press

Red Hot Peppers Band
to Broadcast Over WNBF
from Geo. F. Pavilion

Radio broadcasting from the George F. Johnson pavilion in C. F. J. park at Johnson City, by Station WNBF of Binghamton, will be started tonight at 9:30 o’clock, according to President J. R. Goranflo of the Howit-Wood Co., owners of the station.

“We are gratified to announce that our ‘hookup’ with the pavilion was completed today,” said Goranflo, “and we expect to broadcast many fine programs from there, on an average of two or three times each week. It is especially pleasing to us to have completed arrangements for this extension of our system, just in time to broadcast ‘Jelly-Roll’ Morton’s Red Hot Peppers band, which is to play at the pavilion tonight.”

Goranflo also announced today that Professor Lynn Bogart of the Ithaca Conservatory of Music will play several violin solos as a feature of the WNBF program tonight. This feature will go on the air at 8 o’clock.

Note: The area had several experimental radio stations in the mid-1920s. The first regular radio broadcast station was WNBF. Beginning its operations in 1929, it was headquartered for many years at the Arlington Hotel on the corner of Lewis and Chenango streets in the city of Binghamton.

 SWEET SUBSTITUTE
 played by Trebor J. Tichenor

Laurie Wright and Dan Vernhettes send the following pictorial advert from The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 19th January 1929, which announces the forthcoming appearance of Jelly Roll Morton at the New Albert Auditorium, Baltimore, Maryland.


The Baltimore Afro American

2
Big Nights

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON

THE ORIGINATOR OF BLUES AND STOMPS
AND HIS ALL STAR BAND OF 11 PIECES

The World’s Finest Colored Artists Direct From Chicago

Hear Them Feature
“The Pearls” “Millenberg (Milenberg) Joys” and
“The Shoeshiners Drag”


Wed. & Thurs.
Jan. 23 - 24
8 to 2

New Albert Auditorium

Admission, 50c before 9, 60c after 9
Positively as advertised or your money returned

Dan Vernhettes sends the following review of the New Albert Auditorium engagement above, which appeared in The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 26th January 1929, page 6.


The Baltimore Afro American

JELLY ROLL MORTON DRAWS LARGE
CROWD AT INITIAL HOP

Introducing a different kind of music, Jelly Roll Morton, inventor of the “stomp” and his Chicago Syncopators, played to 1,200 persons at the New Albert Casino, Wednesday.

With a different harmony and music, the Chicago musicians demonstrated many new features. The members of the orchestra are, Walter Thomas, Paul Barnes and Stewart Scoot, saxophones; Lee Blair, banjo; Goodwin Rodriques (Rodriguez), piano; Trumpets, David Richards, Chalmers Holley; Trombone, Chas. Irvis; Sousa, William Moore; Gus Roberson (Robinson), drums, and Morton, director and pianist. This is the orchestra’s first appearance in Baltimore.

Note: Goodwin Rodriques is Nicholas ‘Rod’ Rodriguez and Gus Roberson is Gus Robinson.

Steve Sienkiewicz sends the following information about the New Albert Auditorium: This movie house, located at 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, Baltimore, opened in 1908 as the Renard Moving Picture Parlor and it was known under this name until around 1915. The building then went through a long period of neglect as a theater. Apparently the original movie house building was a store-front. Later, a larger auditorium, the Albert Auditorium was built behind it. A forty-car garage was on the first floor and a dance hall was on the second. In 1944 plans were prepared to convert the garage into a 800-seat movie theater. On 17th February 1948 the auditorium was held up by a thug who threatened, “hand over all the money in the box — I don’t want any fooling, because I’m not fooling.” The New Albert Auditorium closed around 1960, and was demolished in 1971.

Karl Ellison sends the following advert, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 26th January 1929, page 7.


The Pittsburgh Courier

Jelly Roll Morton
AND HIS
RED HOT PEPPERS
VICTOR RECORDING ORCHESTRA
ST. LOUIS AND NEW YORK

AT PYTHIAN TEMPLE
MONDAY EVENING, JANUARY 28

COMING FEATURES: SAMMY STEWART, JACK WHYTE,
FLETCHER HENDERSON and MCKINNEY’S ORCHS.

Prof. James Dapogny sends the following, which notes a previously unknown engagement. On Wednesday, 30th January 1929, Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers played at a place, (a ballroom, I think) called Mapleview. I’m pretty sure this was in Pennsylvania, but the clipping, from a newspaper that can be identified only from the Tuesday, 29th January 1929 edition of “—— on Report,” gives no more information than that.

The heading says, DIRECTS “RED HOT PEPPERS.” Beneath that is a reproduction of the baton photograph, with the copy on the photograph itself not referring to any representation or management. Beneath that is this caption: “Jelly Roll Morton, who will direct his Red Hot Peppers in a dance program at Mapleview tomorrow night. Latest record releases of this famous dance aggregation are the “Kansas City Stomp” and “Boogaboo.” Morton and his band have been on the top of the heap of traveling organizations for many seasons and will feature the latest tunes and the best of entertainment at the Mapleview floor.”

Prof. James Dapogny sends the following, which notes a previously unknown engagement. On Wednesday, 6th February 1929, Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers played at West Side Park in Berwick, Pennsylvania, about 94 miles north of Harrisburg (where, Jelly said, he had his headquarters for this tour). This information comes from the park’s own flyer, printed sometime before 30th January 1929, the earliest of several dates advertised on it.

Dinah Courrier of The Potomac State College, West Virginia University, sends the following details of a programme for Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers, who performed in the gymnasium on Friday night, 8th February 1929, at The Potomac State College, Keyser, West Virginia. The small in-house printed program measures 7-inches high by 3˝-inches wide and unfolds to 7-inches wide to reveal the centre panel below:

in extending this invitation to participate in

the formal opening of the new

Physical Education Building

and the

Honoring of the Football Squad of 1928

Friday evening, February 8, 1929

We will dance to the music of

“Jelly Roll Morton” and “His Red Hot Peppers”

Dancing from 8 to 2        Admission $2.50 per couple

ADMISSION BY INVITATION ONLY

Stuart Parcher of The Potomac River Jazz Club, together with Dinah Courrier and the staff of The Potomac State College Library, send the following review of Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers, who performed in the gymnasium on Friday, 8th February 1929, at The Potomac State College, Keyser, West Virginia. The review below was published in The Pasquino (the PSC Newspaper), dated 22nd February 1929, Volume 9, page 1, column 1.


The Pasquino

PAN-HELLENIC
DANCE  GIVES  GYM
SOCIAL  OPENING


JELLY ROLL MORTON
ORCHESTRA COMES
FROM NEW YORK


Many Out-of-Town Guests
Attend; Alumni Frat
Men Come Back

The first Pan-Hellenic Dance in our college life came as a lovely and imposing social opening for the new gymnasium Friday Evening, February 8, for, while the gym had been open for an informal inspection by the public some weeks before that, it had not been set for a gay party and prom until the Pan-Hellenic sent out invitations for their first evening.

The decorations, great ribbons of blue and gold crepe, hung from the beams and wrapped the tall pillars on the sides, while the lights, in their shades of gold paper, looked like great yellow moons.

The orchestra, a company of Afro-Americans, who have broken into the select organizations that call themselves musical, was introduced as Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers, from New York. Not liking jelly roll after long boarding-house experience and being quite indifferent to peppers of the African variety, we decline to act as musical critics and comment on the merits of the orchestra.

About one hundred fifty couples attended the dance and appeared in the Grand March that was lead by Mr. and Mrs. George Parrish, of the Faculty. . . .

Prof. Alan Wallace and Dan Vernhettes send the following article, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 23rd March 1929, page 8, First Section, column 8.


The Pittsburgh Courier

Morton’s ‘Red Hot Peppers’ At Temple Next Monday Night

Jellyroll Morton, jazz musician extraordinary, and his harmonizing Red Hot Peppers will be the feature attraction at the beautiful Pythian Temple next Monday night.

Two Pittsburgh lads, Joe Watts and Charley Lee, are among the galaxy of musical stars who will feature their performance here at the Temple.

Morton’s orchestra has established an enviable reputation for melody-making and his appearance here has been awaited by a host of admirers.

The band will play at the Edgar Thomson gym, Braddock, Sunday, with the dance starting at 12:05 am., and ending at 4 o’clock.

Large crowds are expected to attend this unusual musical event.

Karl Ellison sends the following advert, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 30th March 1929, page 7. The advert mentions the forthcoming appearance of Jelly Roll Morton at the Pythian Temple for Monday, 15th April 1929.


The Pittsburgh Courier

APRIL EVENTS
at Pythian Temple

Monday,

Friday,
Sunday,
Monday,
Thursday,
Monday,
Thursday,
Monday,
Friday,
Monday,
April   1

April   5
April   7
April   8
April 11
April 15
April 18
April 22
April 26
April 29
—          Easter Promenade and Style
                  Review.
—          The Pierette Club.
—          Musicians’ Union, Installation.
—          Old Fashioned Barn Dance.
—          North Side Lodge No. 124.
—          Jelly Roll Morton.
—          Iron City Lodge.
—          Tattler’ Ball.
—          The Ducks Minstrel Show.
—          Feature Dance.

Brian Goggin sends the following article for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Gallatin Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Thursday, 11th April 1929, page 7, column 3.


The Daily News Standard

“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
AT GARDENS TONIGHT

“Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, one of the country’s most famous colored jazz bands, will make its initial appearance tonight at the Gardens. The band has played Shady Grove and is known by many Victor recordings. Hours are nine to one.

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at the Gallatin Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Thursday, 11th April 1929, page 1, columns 1—2.


The Morning Herald

WHOOPEE SPECIAL!
“JELLY  ROLL”  MORTON

Originator of Jazz and Stomp and his
RED HOT PEPPERS
Victor Recording Orchestra
GARDENS TONIGHT
Men $1.75        :        9 to 1        :        Ladies 75c
“You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet!”

Laurie Wright sends the following article from The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 13th April 1929, page 7 (Woman’s Page), Society column, which provides details of Morton’s forthcoming engagement at the Pythian Temple for Monday, 15th April 1929. The article also mentions the singer Frances Hereford.


The Pittsburgh Courier

THE TEMPLE’S BIG FOUR ATTRACTION

What is considered as probably the biggest musical attraction of the year will materialize at the beautiful Pythian Temple next Monday night when an unusually interesting program will be staged. Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Stompers, Francis (Frances) Hereford, entertainers extraordinary and Victor record artists, The Komedy Klub and the Pittsburgh Cotton Pickers are all billed on this monstrous program of music and entertainment.

A night of nights is promised Pittsburgh by the Temple dance management, and from present indications a record-breaking crowd will attend the spectacular Big Four attraction program.

The three orchestras are expected to participate in a grand battle of music while the fascinating Frances Hereford will feature in several unique entertaining numbers.

Karl Ellison sends the following article, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 20th April 1929.


The Pittsburgh Courier

PYTHIAN TEMPLE’S ATTRACTIVE DANCE MENU

In keeping with the Pythian Temple’s policy of staging bigger and better dances, several high class musical attractions have been booked recently by the Temple management.

Jelly Roll Morton, who scored here Monday night will appear again next Tuesday, April 23, in a big return engagement program. Miss Frances Hereford-Morton, the charming songbird and entertainer, will also be featured. Popular demand is bringing Morton back again.

On May 13, the famous Detroit Cotton Pickers, America’s most sensational orchestra will be the music headliner. The Japanese garden boat at the foot of Smithfield street will be the scene of a big dance on Saturday night.

Additional musical features are being planned by Sell Hall, the energetic and aggressive manager of the Pythian Temple dances.

Karl Ellison sends the following article, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, Woman’s page, Society column, dated Saturday, 27th April 1929


The Pittsburgh Courier

PYTHIAN TEMPLE’S INTERESTING DANCES

Jelly Roll Morton and his sensational orchestra will be featured as the Pythian Temple’s musical attraction next Monday night in which promises to be one of the biggest dances of the early spring season. Morton has been playing in this section for the last few weeks and has been pleasing dance lovers at every appearance. A large crowd greeted Morton’s Stompers on the Japanese Garden Boat Sunday night despite the cool weather.

On Thursday night Morton’s orchestra will reign supreme at a big ball in the Market Auditorium, Wheeling, W. Va., and on Friday they will play at Homestead, returning to the Japanese Garden Boat at 12 o’clock next Sunday night.

Local music lovers are also looking expectantly forward to Monday May 13, when McKinney’s famous Cotton Pickers of Detroit, with Don Redman, popular Pittsburgh musician. McKinney’s band is considered one of the most brilliant musical combines in the country, and their coming here is creating an unusual amount of interest.

Note: The above article lists Jelly Roll Morton’s engagements for the previous Sunday, 21st April (Japanese Garden Boat) and the following forthcoming dates: Monday, 29th April (Pythian Temple); Thursday, 2nd May (Market Auditorium, W. Va.); Friday, 3rd May (Homestead, Pennsylvania) and Sunday, 5th May (Japanese Garden Boat).

Fran Pinsker has located the address of the Pythian Temple, which in 1929 was 2009 - 2013, Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA.

Brian Goggin sends the following article for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement in Point Marion, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Tuesday, 30th April 1929, page 15, column 3.


The Daily News Standard

JELLY ROLL MORTON
AT PT. MARION MAY 9

“Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red Hot Peppers will play their farewell dance of the year in this territory on Thursday, May 9, in Point Marion, it is announced today. This band is now in Eastern Pennsylvania and will return to the Pittsburgh district for a week of one-night engagements before a long trip to the West Coast. “Jelly Roll” is the composer of many famous dance tunes, most popular of which is “Shake That Thing” which his orchestra features.

Brian Goggin sends the following article for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement in Point Marion, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Wednesday, 8th May 1929, page 9, columns 3—5.


The Daily News Standard

THE BLUE CHINA INK-POT

By A. D. Mayer

THE COUNTRY TOWN QUILL DRIVER!

The Jelly Roll Morton round-up, (Thursday evening, this week), has created considerable interest among the dancing sons and daughters. Even if you’ve grown too old to wear your slippers out in the waxed arena, if you’ve a good eye for figures, you’ll enjoy resting in the spectators’ section while the younger generation hops, skips and jumps to the rythm (rhythm) of Jelly Roll Morton’s popping cadenzas. The usual charges for the pleasure prevail, which, if memory serves us right, is $1.50 for gents, $.75 for ladies, and only $.50, but worth more, for spectators.

Jelly Roll Morton, so we have been informed, is credited iwth (with) a year on Broadway, in a piece of his own called “Shufflin’ Along.” He is also said to be the originator of the Stomp, the Charleston, and other well known dance numbers. He also authored “Shake That Thing” and several other popular song numbers, all of which have been recorded by the Columbin (Columbia) Phonograph Company. Looks like a big night for dancing feet.

Brian Goggin sends the following advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement in Point Marion, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Thursday, 9th May 1929, page 1, columns 1—2.


The Daily News Standard

Don Your Glad Rags
and “Shake That Thing” at

POINT  MARION  TONIGHT
With That Originator of Stomp and Jazz,
“JELLY  ROLL”  MORTON
AND HIS “RED HOT PEPPERS”

Hours : 9 to 1.  Men, $1.50;  Ladies, 75c;  Spectators, 50c

Karl Ellison sends the following article from The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 11th May 1929, page 7, column 4.


The Pittsburgh Courier

Peppers at Washington Gardens

In answer to an insistent demand of the public, the syncopatin’, serenadin’ Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers will return to the beautiful Washington Gardens, Washington, Pa., Friday night. May 10, for which promises to be one of the most interesting dances of the season.

Morton’s devastating, demolishing, demons of dance have established an enviable reputation for playing in this district. It is said that their music is “hotter than the Devil’s kitchen.”

A record-breaking crowd is expected to attend, hear and dance with this unusually interesting melody-making combine furnishing the music.

Brian Goggin sends the following article, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at the Gallatin Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Monday, 13th May 1929, page 10, column 2.


The Daily News Standard

JELLY ROLL MORTON
AT GARDENS FRIDAY

“Jelly Roll” Morton and his Red-Hot Peppers will play at the Gardens Friday evening for the last big-time dance of the present season. This famous 11-piece combination is making a return visit by popular demand, particularly strong after last Thursday evening in Point Marion where a large crowd enjoyed the music to the utmost.

Many who could not go to Point Marion will be present at the Gardens on Friday.

Sue Attalla sends the following advert for a previously unknown Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers engagement at the Gallatin Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Daily News Standard, dated Friday, 17th May 1929, page 1, columns 3—4.


The Daily News Standard

LET’S ALL GET HOT AND “SHAKE THAT THING”
— with —
“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
AND HIS “RED HOT PEPPERS”
GALLATIN GARDENS TONIGHT
9 TO 1
11 Devastating, Demolishing, Demons of Dance
Men, $1.50;  Ladies, 75c      Return by Public Demand

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces an engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at the Gallatin Gardens, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Friday, 17th May 1929, page 1, columns 6—7.


The Morning Herald

Let’s All Get Hot and “Shake That Thing”
— WITH —
“JELLY ROLL” MORTON
and His “RED HOT PEPPERS”
GALLATIN GARDENS TONIGHT
9 TO 1
11 Devastating, Demolishing, Demons of Dance
Men, $1.50;  Ladies, 75c      Return by Public Demand

Brian Goggin sends the following article for a previously unknown engagement for the Original Alabamians in Moberly, Missouri from the Moberly Monitor–Index and Moberly Evening Democrat, dated Tuesday, 4th June 1929, page 1, column 3.


Moberly Monitor-Index and Moberly Evening Democrat

LOCAL ELKS TO GIVE
DANCE THURSDAY EVENING

The Original Alabamians, an eleven piece band and Victor recording artists who were formerly with Jelly Roll Morton, will furnish the music at the dance to be sponsored by the Elks’s Club on Thursday night.

The orchestra is said to be one of the greatest colored attractions in the country today, and is available for the Elk’s Dance, because they are en-route between an engagement at the Merry Gardens in Chicago, which they have just finished, and one at the El Torreon Ballroom at Kansas City, where they will begin an engagement Friday night Elk officials announced.

The dance will be held at the Elk’s Home. It will begin at nine and will continue until one.

Note: Banjoist Ikey Robinson (1904-1990) was a member with “The Alabamians” at the time they worked with Jelly Roll Morton. Robinson recalled that the band was run by pianist Henry Crowder, who allowed Morton to take them out on tour and use them for an engagement at the Crystal Beach Amusement Park, Ontario, from 25th July until 7th August 1927. [CB] The tour went well, and while this pleased Crowder, he did feel a little threatened by Morton’s presence, seemingly: “Everything is going nicely at present. I find Jelly to be swell-headed, but altogether a pretty good sort of fellow. This is only a temporary arrangement, and I expect to again be sailing under my own flag soon.” [CL]

Reedman Marion Hardy later assumed leadership of the band and it became “Marion Hardy and his Alabamians”. Leslie Corley, who was the banjoist on the “Levee Serenaders” session with Morton, was a member at that time and appears with them in a photograph taken in 1929. [SO 138] The orchestra made one coupling in 1929 under the name “Marlow (sic) Hardy and his Alabamians”. Cab Calloway was their front man for at least two spells in 1929. He fronted them in Chicago in April of that year and again at the Savoy in New York in October. He subsequently left to front “The Missourians”, which eventually became his “name” orchestra. [WWJ 60]  [BG 5]

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Thursday, 6th June 1929, page 1, columns 6—7.


The Morning Herald

Jelly Roll Morton Red Hot Peppers
Shady Grove Park, Friday Evening

Wait Till Friday Night and Dance to Victor’s Hottest Recording Orchestra.  America’s Favorite.   Hours 9 to 1.
   Men $1.50   —   ::   —   Ladies 75c.

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces an engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Friday, 7th June 1929, page 1, columns 4—5.


The Morning Herald

Jelly Roll Morton Red Hot Peppers
Shady Grove Park, This Evening

Dance Tonight to Victor’s Hottest Recording Orchestra.  America’s Favorite.   Hours 9 to 1.    Men $1.50     ::     Ladies 75c.

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Friday, 7th June 1929, page 1, columns 6—7.


The Morning Herald

JELLY-ROLL MORTON AND HIS
11 RED-HOT-PEPPERS
Sunday Afternoon and Evening
BAND CONCERT
NEW SHADY GROVE PARK

Brian Goggin sends the following advert, which announces a forthcoming engagement of Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers at Shady Grove Park, Uniontown, Pennsylvania from The Morning Herald, dated Monday, 10th June 1929, page 1, columns 2—3.  The same advert appeared in The Morning Herald, dated Tuesday, 11th June 1929, page 1, columns 2—3.


The Morning Herald

DANCE NOTICE

By Special Request Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers Will Play For the Dance Tuesday Night, June 11, Shady Grove Park. Hours 9 to 1. Reduced Prices. Men $1.00.  Ladies 50c.  Hear America’s Hottest Orchestra.

Prof. Lawrence Gushee and Prof. Alan Wallace send the following article from The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 22nd June 1929, page 5, second section, column 4.


The Pittsburgh Courier

Classy Field Of Cars To Vie
For Glory In Arden Gas Classic

Local and national kings of the roaring roadway here and elsewhere are tuning up powerful motors in preparation for participation in what promises to be one of the greatest 100-mile races ever held in this part of the state. The event[,] which they are getting ready for[,] is the classic distance race to be held at the Arden Downs race track near Washington, Pa., on July 4th.

Indications are that competition will be unusually keen in the race this year. It is also apparent that some of the most popular drivers of local and national renown will participate. High powered, new styled motor cars have been chartered by nearly a score of drivers and records for the distance are liable to be toppled in the Firecracker Day Sweepstakes.

“Fast Jack” Jackson of Detroit, Curley Granville of Lisbon, O.; Quinn Banks of Philadelphia are only a few of those who will be probably participate.

A guaranteed purse of $100 prize money will be posted for the winners, according to an announcement just released.

The promoters, Messrs. Jack Johnson, ex-heavyweight champ; “Jelly Roll” Morton, of musical orchestra fame, and Rube Wasler, of Washington, Pa., prominent sports impressario, are caring for all details so that the affair will truly be a red letter day event.

Peter Hanley and Prof. Alan Wallace send the following pictorial advert from The Marion Star, dated Thursday, 27th June 1929, page 15, columns 7—8. This is for a previously unknown engagement at Seccaium Park, Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio.


The Marion Star

Feature Dance Thursday Nite

Jelly Roll Morton and his 11-Piece Victor Orchestra
Social Plan 8:30 to 12:30.
Jelly Roll is the originator of Stomps and Blues —
a Red Hot Colored Band
Free Attraction at 4:30 and 10:00 Daily.


DANCING EVERY NIGHT AT SECCAIUM PARK

Note: The above advert also appeared in The Marion Star on the previous day (26th June 1929).

Seccaium Park was located between Bucyrus and Galion, Ohio. After the grand opening in August 1899, Seccaium (pronounced See-Cam by locals), drew huge crowds, especially on Sundays and holidays, when concerts were featured and picnic throngs gathered from the Crawford County Pioneer Association, Grocers’ organization and other church, fraternal and business groups. A sizeable casino was constructed to host travelling vaudeville and dramatic programmes. Dancing was available in the park pavilion.

By the early 1920s enterprising Bucyrus businessman Ralph Jolly and his bandleader brother Carl, resuscitated the park after buying it for a song from the Cleveland South-western Railway. Forever after the Jolly’s arrival Seccaium would be known as the place to dance — “A Fun Place to Go, Just for Fun.” Ralph Jolly built a large new dance pavilion with an impressive outside dance floor that for years drew flocks of fun seekers to hear the likes of Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Jean Goldkette and Guy Lombardo among others.

For added thrills, one of the largest swimming pools in the Midwest was built alongside the dance pavilion and a midway full of rides and concessions materialized in the shadow of the Pip pin roller coaster. The dance music kept playing - some nights only on a machine — until June 1948 when a fire decimated the property and Seccaium went silent forever, except in nostalgia.

Don Rouse of The Potomac River Jazz Club, sends the following notice from the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, dated Thursday, 27th June 1929. This is for a one night only engagement at Seccaium Park, Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio.


Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum

FEATURE DANCE BAND AT
SECCAIUM THURSDAY NIGHT

In keeping with the policy of Seccaium Park to use dance bands with a national reputation, Jelly Roll Morton, one of the leading stomp and blues composers, will bring his Victor Recording Orchestra of eleven men to the Park for Thursday night only. This attraction is returning from the East and is playing a few one night engagements on their way to Chicago.

Note: A pictorial advert, very similar to the one in The Marion Star, dated 27th June 1929 above, also appeared in the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, dated 27th June 1929.

Karl Ellison sends the following article from The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 29th June 1929, page 7, column 1.


The Pittsburgh Courier

JELLY ROLL MORTON AT DUQUESNE GARDEN

The beautiful Duquesne Garden on the Fourth of July evening will be the camping ground of Jelly Roll Morton’s brilliant “Red Hot Peppers” orchestra. The dance promises to be one of the best of the season and special arrangements are being made for cooling and decorating the spacious Garden.

Morton’s musical merrymakers are popular with Pittburghers and a large turnout for the affair is expected.

Special features and novelties are being planned so that the Duquesne Garden’s magnificent Fourth of July ball will be a never-to-be-forgotten event to Pittsburghers.

Winners of the auto races at Arden Downs have been invited so that the affair will take on the nature of a Victory Ball.

Fran Pinsker sends the following article, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 6th July 1929, page 7 (Woman’s Page), Society column, section 1.


The Pittsburgh Courier

RED HOT PEPPERS “RED HOT” DANCE

The brilliant ball which will be held at the Duquesne Garden on the fourth of July evening from 9 on has taken on the nature of a Victory Dance. Jelly Roll Morton and his famous Red Hot Peppers will make the musical whoopee.

Drivers in the big auto race at Arden Downs on the afternoon of the Fourth are to be guests at the ball in the Garden during the evening hours.

Morton’s orchestra has established a reputation for harmonious playing and has only recently toured the middle west section, playing for various school proms with phenomenal success. Their musical troupe has been welcomed everywhere an appearance has been made. A big crowd is expected to turn out.

Note: The Pittsburgh Courier have evidently made a major error in publishing this advert. The date of the newspaper is definitely the 6th July 1929 - yet it is advertising an event which had already taken place on 4th July 1929.

Fran Pinsker has located the address of the Duquesne Garden, which, in 1929, was 112 N. Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA.

 FREAKISH
 played by Richard Trythall

Band member Harry Prather recalls that Jelly Roll Morton and members of his orchestra stayed at the Attucks Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa., while waiting for a recording session to come up. [MJL 64] “Nick” Rodriguez also remembers that, “. . . we were going to make some records and we stayed in Philadelphia and rode over to Camden — that’s an R.C.A. plant.” [J 91]

The Attucks Hotel was, in 1929, located at 801 S. 15th Street at the intersection of Catharine Street, Philadelphia, Pa. The original telephone number of the hotel was JACkson 9836. The building, which currently occupies the address, has fortunately survived urban renewal. However, it no longer functions as the Attucks Hotel. Photographs courtesy of Karl Ellison.

The hotel was named after Crispus Attucks, who was a leader of the patriot crowd that British troops fired upon in the so-called Boston Massacre of 1770. The British had stationed four regiments in Boston in 1768. On 5th March 1770, about 400 Bostonians surrounded a detachment of British troops and goaded them into firing. Attucks and two other men were killed instantly. Two others died later of wounds. Little is known of Crispus Attucks, but several historians believe he was a runaway slave of mixed black and white descent. In 1888, Boston erected a monument to honour those who died in the incident.

Another Crispus Attucks commemorative building, is the historic Attucks Theater that dates from 1919 and is located at the intersection of Church Street and Virginia Beach Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia. A fire curtain, on which is painted a scene depicting the Massacre, hung from the ceiling and still remains in the theater today. In the early life of the theater, some of the best stars appeared on stage. One of those stars was Mamie Smith. It was said that she was one of the greatest blues singers in the world. Her concert was advertised as being “the highest priced and classiest aggregation ever to play Norfolk.”

The Victor Talking Machine Co. recording studios #1 and #2 were located in Trinity Baptist Church, 114 N. 5th Street, Camden, N.J.  Victor purchased the church in February 1918 and they originally intended it to be used for storage purposes. However, with its fine acoustic qualities, and the 3-manual, 21-rank Estey Pipe Organ present in the building, the church was converted to a recording studio and named Building #22. The two studios were part of the huge Victor manufacturing complex. Victor was taken over by R.C.A. in January 1929. By 1936, all recording in Camden, including this building, ceased because the Delaware River Bridge trains began operations and the deep-ground vibrations wrought havoc with the recordings. The building later served as a gymnasium for R.C.A. employees. Unfortunately the building has succumbed to urban renewal and is now a parking lot.

Jelly Roll Morton and members of his orchestra would have had just a short drive of about 5 miles from the Attucks Hotel in Philadelphia, Pa., to the R.C.A. studios in Camden, N.J. to carry out a contracted recording assignment. The route would have taken them across the Delaware River via the Delaware River Bridge (formally the Benjamin Franklin Bridge).
[DRB]

On the first day of recording, in Studio #1 (possibly Studio #2), Jelly Roll Morton recorded 4 piano solos during the afternoon of Monday 8th July 1929. [JRMP]  Recording sessions involving the orchestra took place in Studio #1 (possibly Studio #2) on 9th, 10th and 12th July. [JRMB]

See also the excellent in-depth article titled: Victor’s Church Studio, Camden (1918—1935): Lost and Found? by Ben Kragting Jr. and Harry Coster.

The identity of the two trumpet players of this newly-formed orchestra remained unresolved for many years. However, due to research by Theo Zwicky and Al Vollmer, positive identification of the orchestra members can now be confirmed as: Walter Briscoe (lead tp); Boyd Rosser (solo tp); Charlie Irvis (tb); George Baquet (cl); Walter Thomas, Paul Barnes (as); Joe Thomas (ts); Jelly Roll Morton (p); Barney Alexander (bj); Harry Prather (tu) and William Laws (d).
[N 204-205] The extra pianist, Nick “Rod” Rodriguez, should not be forgotten; even though he does not play on the issued records, he did participate during the rehearsals.

Karl Ellison sends the following article, which appeared in The Pittsburgh Courier, dated Saturday, 22nd February 1930, page 17, column 8.


The Pittsburgh Courier

“PICKINGS FROM DIXIE”
LIVES UP TO ITS NAME


Show Appearing At Elmore Theatre This Week Over-
Flowing With Comedy, Singing and Worth-while
Entertainment

by “W. C. N.”

“Showboat” carried us downtown Monday night, but Tuesday night we slipped into the Elmore Theater with the idea of seeing something rather tame and ordinary. We were tired and felt we could relax. But, no — ’twas not to be.

Billy and Mary Mack have provided a show-loving public with just about the spiciest, peppiest, classiest little shows we’ve seen in a long time. We came with the expectation of being bored, but we remained to be highly entertained.

That show has oodles of what the public likes to see and hear. A small but snappy looking chorus starts the ensemble and lend a nice background. Then there is a quartet of youngsters — they must be from Dixie the way they harmonize — which sorta chokes you up with their melodious tunes. Those boys can go. Two comedians — one of them Mack himself — give bits of humorous comedy that keep spectators with tears of mirth in their eyes. Several cues were missed, but even these mistakes were turned into profit by a group of actors above the ordinary in stage prescience. Mrs. Mack as leading lady has a distinct kind of charm which goes well with that little lady’s native air of dignity.

And then — there’s a lad that can sing — and how! You’ve heard “Lonesome Road” sung before, haven’t you? Well, reserve your opinion until you hear Robinson Dubiskii chant it. And the way he sings “St. Louis Blues” is downright “alley-ish.” I’ll give you, however, the characters. They are Charles Taylor, straight man: D-Bubiskii, baritone: Mack and Leonard Rogers, comedians: Charles Taylor, Leonard Rogers, Ed Brazos and Bill Thomas, “4” Periods: J. T. Mims, tap dancer — and how he can tap — Irene Cooper, whose “Down Home Glide” speciality is really ready: Mrs. Mack; the chorines, who are Alma Fuller, Lucille Gross, Hazel Baskett, Willie Lee Martin, Will Mae Neil and Elizabeth Richardson; and in the pit, Merrel Neal, cornetist and director; Sam Davis, master of the ivories (that’s no joke); Richard Herd, trombone, and Oliver Bibs, drums.

Note: Mack and Mack, (Billy and Mary McBride) were at The Elmore Theatre, Pittsburgh, for the week commencing Monday, 17th February 1930. The above review of the show Pickings From Dixie mentions band members: Merrel Neal, cornet; Sam Davis, piano; Richard Herd, trombone; and Oliver Bibbs, drums.

Note: Jelly Roll met Billy and Mary McBride about 1910, and the Sam Davis mentioned above is almost certainly the pianist Sammy Davis, who was described by Jelly Roll as “One of the greatest manipulators, I guess I’ve ever seen in the history of the world on a piano.”

Note: Bessie Smith and her company, Moaning Low were at The Elmore Theatre the week before. The show received a very poor review in the following week’s issue of The Pittsburgh Courier.

Note: Fran Pinsker has located the address of The Elmore Theatre, which in 1930 was on Centre Avenue at the corner of Soho Street in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. Unfortunately the theatre has succumbed to urban renewal and is now a housing development.

 TANK TOWN BUMP
 played by Terry Waldo

Dr. Robert Pinsker sends the following article, which appeared in The Baltimore Afro-American, dated Saturday, 29th March 1930, page 8, column 4.


The Baltimore Afro American

PLAYHOUSES AND PLAY FOLK

Personal Notes

LORRAINE HARRIS, who sings and dances at the Cotton Club, and formerly with Connie’s Hot Chocolates, is the sister of Edna Harris, formerly with the Alhambra Stock Company but now scoring with The Green Pastures.

FRED (FERD) (Jelly Roll) MARTIN (MORTON) has Kenneth Harris as dancing instructor at his dance school and publishing house in the Roseland Building, 50th Street and Broadway.

RABBIT TAYLOR who closed at Proctor’s 86th Street theatre a few weeks past, is organizing a dancing act of five people with a Keith contract in view. Rabbit won the famous weekly Lindberg (Lindbergh) Hop contest four weeks ago.

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