In December, 1939, Jelly Roll Morton (1885 - 1941) recorded 2 sessions for the General Records Co. label. These sessions resulted in 10 songs being released on 5 General label records. These records could be purchased individually or as a 5 record album set called JELLY ROLL MORTON - NEW ORLEANS MEMORIES. These recordings have since been reissued on lots of labels in just about every musical format, but this the original General album G-11. A truly historical album, as these were Morton's last recording sessions!

Such was the significance of this album that it was given a contemporary account in the March 11, 1940 issue of TIME magazine. Here is an excerpt from that article:
"Last week in Manhattan Charles Edward Smith, historian (Jazzmen) and friend of America's native rhythms, produced through new General Records Co. an album of barrel-house tunes played by the greatest surviving barrel-houser 54-year-old Ferdinand ("Jelly Roll") Morton. The album's title is Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Memories"



These recordings were originally released by General in early 1940. Don't know how many were actually sold in this 5 page album format, but I have yet to see another, though the occasional single will show up. Apparently, the great majority of these records were purchased as singles and those records represent virtually all of what is now available on this label. General didn't have much of a distribution network so all of their releases are quite scarce these days.

The General Records label started up in 1939 and by 1943 was out of business. Commodore bought the General masters and by 1944, had re-released these recordings on their label. Most discographys describe these recordings as being from "the Commodore years" even they were originally recorded and released on the General label.

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