Jelly Roll Morton and Anita Gonzales: A Love Story Defying Conventions


Meet Tammy, the charming wife of award-winning blues musician, Jelly Roll Johnson. Married for over two decades, this couple is living proof that true love can stand the test of time. Despite a hectic touring schedule and their long distance relationship, Tammy and Jelly Roll have managed to make their marriage work. Here’s a glimpse into how they’ve been able to keep their spark alive for so many years.

Who is Jelly Roll Morton?

Jelly Roll Johnson is a multi-award winning blues musician with an impressive career spanning decades. Born in Mississippi, Jelly Roll started his musical journey at an early age and soon gained recognition for his unique style of playing the piano and guitar. His music has been featured in films such as Crossroads and Ray, and he has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry including Etta James and B.B. King.

Brief history of his music career

Jelly Roll’s career began in the late 1990s when he was initially known as a session musician. His first recordings were released in 2000 and he soon gained popularity for his unique sound and style. He has since gone on to release 11 solo albums, garnering numerous awards such as the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 2004. His music has been featured in various films and television shows, and he has toured around the world performing for audiences in over 30 countries.

Who was Jelly Roll’s wife?

Anita Gonzales is the charming wife of blues musician, Jelly Roll Johnson. Anita has been married to Jelly Roll for over two decades and the couple have been able to make their marriage work despite a hectic touring schedule and long distance relationship. Anita is a strong advocate for music education and believes in supporting her husband’s career. She often accompanies him on tour, where she assists in the running of the show and looks after Jelly Roll when he is performing.

Anita Gonzales is a long time friend and supporter of Jelly Roll Johnson. She was born and raised in Mississippi, not far from where Jelly Roll was born. The two first crossed paths during their high school days, when they both attended the same music program. It was there that Anita developed her love for music, something that she would later share with Jelly Roll. Through mutual friends, the two eventually started dating and in 1998 they tied the knot.

The relationship between Jelly Roll and Anita

Anita and Jelly Roll have a long and beautiful love story that began during their high school days. They were both passionate about music and shared a special connection from the very start. This connection soon blossomed into something more and before long, they were madly in love with each other. Anita was always supportive of Jelly Roll’s music career which only strengthened their relationship even further. Despite being apart for long periods of time due to Jelly Roll’s touring schedule, the two have managed to stay connected and make their marriage work.

Anita and Jelly Roll faced a number of challenges as an interracial couple in the 1920s-1930s. At the time, mixed race relationships were highly frowned upon by society. In many states, it was even illegal for members of different races to marry and any couples who dared to defy these laws, risked facing serious repercussions including jail time. Despite such obstacles, Anita and Jelly Roll bravely forged ahead and stayed true to their love for one another.

Anita’s impact on Jelly Roll’s music

Anita has had a huge impact on Jelly Roll’s music. Her unwavering support and encouragement have given him the strength to pursue his passion and reach his full potential as an artist. Anita understands the importance of music in Jelly Roll’s life, and her presence is often felt in his songs. For example, many of Jelly Roll’s lyrics are inspired by their love for each other, with some even being dedicated to Anita.

Jelly Roll has often expressed his love for Anita through his music. One of the most prominent examples is his song “Anita’s Blues”, which is dedicated to his wife and highlights their long-lasting relationship. The lyrics are a testament to Jelly Roll’s admiration for Anita and her unwavering support throughout the years. Another example is “My Sweet Angel ”, which is a heartfelt love song that celebrates the bond between Anita and Jelly Roll.

Life after Jelly Roll and Anita’s separation

Anita and Jelly Roll’s separation was due to a combination of factors. The increasing demands of Jelly Roll’s touring schedule and the long distance relationship put a strain on their marriage. Additionally, despite being married for over two decades, Anita and Jelly Roll had grown apart over time. While they remain close friends and still support each other’s music careers, they eventually decided that it would be best for them to part ways.

Anita’s life after Jelly Roll’s death was filled with great sadness and loneliness. She continued to stay in touch with his family, often talking about the memories she shared with her beloved husband. Despite her sorrow, Anita found solace in continuing Jelly Roll’s legacy by promoting and sharing his music with the world. She also kept busy by working as a nurse at a local hospital and giving music lessons to young students. In her later years, Anita finally found happiness again when she remarried a man who shared her love of music.

Legacy of Jelly Roll and Anita

Anita and Jelly Roll’s impact on music and culture is undeniable. Their unique sound and innovative style revolutionized the jazz genre, influencing generations of musicians to come. Not only did they introduce a new style of music, but their interracial marriage also served as a powerful symbol of tolerance and acceptance in an era characterized by discrimination. Through their partnership, Anita and Jelly Roll were able to break down barriers and create a more inclusive world.

It is important to keep the stories of Anita and Jelly Roll alive, both for their contributions to music and culture, as well as for their timeless love story. They were able to defy all odds and remain together despite the social pressures of the time. Their relationship serves as an inspiration for us today and reminds us that true love knows no boundaries. By sharing their stories with future generations, we can continue their legacy and ensure that their love is never forgotten.


Jelly Roll and Anita’s story is significant for many reasons. Their unwavering commitment to each other and their love of music provided a much-needed beacon of hope in a world filled with discrimination and intolerance. Together, they were able to make history by revolutionizing the jazz genre, inspiring generations of musicians and breaking down barriers between different races, genders, and sexual orientations. Despite the distance and hardships they faced, their love never faltered, and their legacy lives on today.

Jelly Roll and Anita’s relationship is a testament to the power of true love. Despite all the obstacles, their commitment to one another never wavered and their bond only grew stronger over time. Even after Jelly Roll’s death, Anita continued to honor her late husband by promoting his music and ensuring that his legacy lived on. Theirs is a story of resilience, courage, and above all, love.


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