Lot 367 of 517:
Sheet music: plagiarism of 1st Black Jazz classic  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$72
$10 - $100

Dancing the Jelly Roll: sheet music of plagiarized 1st Black Jazz composition

Vincent, Nat and Herman Paley

Detroit and New York




4pp. 11 x 13” Pictorial cover, illustrated by Starmer.

Five years ago, we sold in these Galleries a copy of Ferd Morton’s “Jelly Roll Blues”, considered the first Jazz composition published in America, in 1915. The composer, an African-American ragtime pianist and bandleader from New Orleans, was subsequently nicknamed “Jelly Roll” for his landmark composition. That same year, this music appeared, written by two white musicians, with a cover illustration by the same artist who designed the Morton cover - a stark example of white appropriation of Black music. Coincidentally, the  publishers then employed 17 year-old “song plugger” George Gershwin.

Lot Amendments

Very good.

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