Jelly Roll Morton Research Paper

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Rough Beginnings It was 1915 and the music scene was just getting hot. New Orleans was busting at the seam with young cats prowling the streets, lurking in seedy after-hours clubs looking to get a wild jam session in before the night was through. An insanely talented and equally arrogant ragtime pianist by the name of Jelly Roll Morton began to play with a different kind of flavor that drove audiences crazy, and with that the invention of Jazz was born. The heavy syncopated beats making your pulse jump, the bluesy lilt of a melody lapping lazily at your senses; this was the time to be alive. 1915 also happened to be the year that brought us another small gift – the birth of Elinore Harris a thousand miles away in Philadelphia. Her mother, …show more content…

She was arrested in 1947 for possession of heroin and pleaded with the court to be sent to a rehabilitation center for help with her debilitating drug problems. She was arrested several more times after her rehabilitation and her cabaret license was revoked by the courts preventing her from working in any Harlem nightclub selling alcohol. After the death of her mother in 1945 her heroin addiction was out of control.4
By the 1950’s she was still denied a license to perform in clubs serving alcohol and this was a major turning point in her career. She was still recording and performing but after the death of her good friend Lester Young in 1959 she had nothing left to keep her together. Even though she asked she was not allowed to sing at Young’s funeral and this devastated her. The same police department that made her first drug arrest years before was still doggedly after her, and so during her final hospitalization she was arrested for illegal possession of heroin, fingerprinted, and photographed for mug shots on her deathbed. She died with little dignity and no money, with an officer guarding her

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