[Dixielandjazz] Jelly Roll Morton Song Question

Craig Johnson civanj at adelphia.net
Mon Feb 9 13:38:22 PST 2004

You have to be careful with Jelly Roll,
as to attributions of who wrote the tune. He got into some
legal, or at least social hassles with several folks. There is
a question for instance of whether he or Satchmo really wrote
Wild Man Blues. Satch seems to have not made an issue of it though.
and there are other instances.
"Sidewalk Blues" seems to  indeed come from a tune called "Fish Tail Blues"
also attributed to Jelly, but challenged in 1930 by Lee Collins a cornet
player with Jelly who claims to be the author of "Fish Tail Blues." He
left Jelly's band.

The following seems to be interesting but inconclusive.

As to "Don't You Leave Me Here"
Both recordings below cite Jelly as the author of the tune you are talking
However, in the Charles Anderson fake book sheets, the attribution to the
is: Music by Thomas Morris, Words by Freddie Johnson - date is stated as
a full 2 years after the Paradise Orchestra recording (below) and long
before Jelly's
I don't know the source of Anderson's info on this, but see below.

Jelly recorded it in 1939 with Bechet in the band.

BUT!! ---

A much earlier recording of "Don't You Leave Me Here (I'm Alabama Bound)"
is by Charlie Johnson's Original Paradise Ten"  - check it out on
The Johnson group is on page:
and is listed as recording it in 1925
Both Thomas Morris and Jabbo Smith played cornet in the Paradise band
during that period.  I can't find Freddie Johnson who is listed as
lyricist - tho' he seems to
have also been the lyricist on "Sing Sing Prison Blues" recorded by Bessie

--among other well-knowns like Benny Carter and
Sidney de Paris.(Irrelevant, but what the hell.)

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