Jelly Roll Morton

Jul 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Arts & Entertainment

One Comment to “Jelly Roll Morton”

  1. Peggy Hicks says:

    The book “The Ghost of the Cuban Queen Bordello” is a must read for any Jelly Roll Morton enthusiast. This book is actually about the woman that made the famous Jelly Roll Morton’s heart skip a beat. She helped financed his early jazz career. He referred to her as the only woman he ever truly loved. He composed two songs for her, Mama-Nita and Sweet Anita Mine. Jelly Roll Morton actually died in her arms and bequeathed all his music royalties to her. Her real name was Bessie Julia Johnson, but she had several aliases including Anita Gonzales, Anita Ford and the Cuban Queen. He first met this woman in the early 1900’s in the red light district of Storyville in New Orleans and then traveled with him around the country for several years. After they split up, Jelly Roll went east and formed a band call “The Red Hot Peppers” and Anita Gonzales went west to Jerome, Arizona where she owned and operated a brothel called The Cuban Queen Bordello. This book reveals some deplorable secrets kept by this attractive but devious Madam known to the locals as The Cuban Queen. A lot went on behind this woman’s closed doors where southern fried chicken, baking powder biscuits, bootlegged whiskey, prostitution, gambling and sometimes even murder were on the menu.

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