Last Days

Phil Pastras

in Dead Man Blues

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780520215238
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929739 | DOI:
Last Days

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This chapter explains the last days of Jelly Roll Morton. Anita Gonzales had apparently agreed to act as patron of Morton's West Coast comeback. The part of this deal was to keep Mabel in the dark about Anita's role in Morton's affairs, and not only her role in the present but in the past as well. Morton's love of playing often overcame his weakened state. The facts about who was informed of Morton's death, and when, and about who was or was not at the funeral, are material to questions raised by the controversy and the legal disputes. Anita was one of the few constants in Morton's life, along with his godmother, Laura Hunter. The epigram that best epitomizes the relationship of Morton and Anita comes from his own lips: “Anita managed me, the way she always did”.

Keywords: Jelly Roll Morton; Mabel; Anita Gonzales; Laura Hunter; death

Chapter.  15107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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