Latest update on 17/08/2020

Artist: Jelly Roll Morton
Author: Willie Cornish
Label: Library Of Congress
Year: 1938

While interviewed by Alan Lomax, talking about the real Buddy Bolden (see footnote). He also recorded it for Commodore.



Jelly Roll Morton's New Orleans Jazzmen [feat. Sidney Bechet and Zutty Singleton as I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say]


Louis Armstrong [idem]


Billie Holiday [in film New Orleans]


Sidney Bechet


Jim Kweskin


Kid Thomas [in film Pretty Baby]


Dr. John [as I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say; with Danny Barker, someone who played with the real Buddy Bolden and who stayed in touch with him even after his career; on his Tango Palace lp Dr. John did a I Thought I Heard New Orleans Say but that was more in the vein of his Broughham Dreaming which he wrote with Alvin 'Shine' Robinson]


Kip Hanrahan [with Jack Bruce, Allen Toussaint en Don Pullen]


Kacey Anderson


Hugh Laurie


Wynton Marsalis [as Funky Butt in film Bolden]

Buddy Bolden was a legendary New Orleans musician, the first jazz legend, without ever being recorded. As a cornet player and bandleader he couldn't be topped. His high C's could be heard four blocks away. Born in 1868, seven years older than W.C. Handy, twenty two years older than Mr. Jelly Roll. He had his own band since 1895, operating from the Odd Fellows Hall right in the middle of Back o' Town, the red light district for blacks, segregated from Storyville. Was the first to orchestrate the dance beats of Congo Square but that didn't give him notority: the only time his name made the newspapers was when he hit his own mother with a water pitcher on the head, causing his family to take measures. Buddy was sent to a mental institution where he died in 1931. One of the compositions he sometimes is credited for is Make Me A Pallet On The Floor, covered by that same Jelly Roll Morton, by Bunk Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt and by Sidney Bechet, who also recorded a Buddy Bolden Stomp. According to another rumour he also wrote My Bucket's Got A Hole In It and of course he also initiated the song named after him: I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Shout: while performing with his band in a claustrophobic joint, with temperature rising and all sorts of body odors mingling, one particular final fart made Buddy shout: "Open up a window and take that funky butt away". The expression started to lead a life of its own, not only in this song (first made up by his trombone player Willie Cornish). There's a famous Funky Butt jazz club along Rampart Street, almost facing Congo Square, still facing difficulties to re-open in the wake of Katrina.


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