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Jelly at The Monarch Saloon

Jelly Roll Morton


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"Memphis Travels"


In this extract from an interview given to Jelly Roll Morton by Alan Lomax for the Library Of Congress in 1938, Jelly talks about his travels to Memphis in the early part of the 20th century, telling of his experiences at the notorious Monarch Saloon and his run in with Bad Sam and pianist Benny Frenchy.

Morton gives a detailed explanation of his triumph in a piano duel over local favorite Benny Frenchy complete with recreated performances including an imitation of his obviously lacking rival. Then, if there was ever any doubt, Jelly Roll Morton brings down the house after playing his far superior ragtime piano and a popular love ballad of the day, "All That I Ask is Love".

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