First great jazz composer whose "Jelly Roll Blues" became the first jazz composition to be published. He was also jazz's first arranger.
He was heavily influenced by Tony Jackson. He began touring the American South in minstrel shows in 1904.
He became known for writing "Wolverine Blues," "Black Bottom Stomp," and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say," as well as pioneering the Spanish tinge.
He was born to F.P. Lamothe and Louise Monette. His parents were never married and instead had a common-law marriage. He convinced his religious mother that he was a night watchman at a barrel factory when he was really playing piano at a brothel. He married Mabel Bertrand in 1928.
He recorded alongside clarinetist Artie Shaw.