Ferdinand Joseph Lemott, 20 October 1890, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 10 July 1941, Los Angeles, California, USA. A gifted musician, Morton played various instruments before deciding to concentrate on piano. In the early years of the twentieth century he was a popular figure on the seamier side of New Orleans night life. He played in brothels, hustled pool and generally lived the high-life. His reputation spread extensively, owing to tours and theatrical work in various parts of the Deep South and visits to Kansas City, Chicago, Los Angeles and other important urban centres. He also worked in Canada, Alaska and Mexico. From 1923 he spent five years based in Chicago, touring and recording with various bands, including the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and his own band, the Red Hot Peppers. He later worked with Fate Marable and W.C. Handy, and by the end of the 20s had moved to New York for residencies and more recording sessions. He also formed a big band, with which...
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