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Fats Waller

Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, violinist, singer, and comedic entertainer. His innovations in the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. His best-known compositions, "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose", were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999. Waller copyrighted over 400 songs, many of them co-written with his closest collaborator, Andy Razaf. Razaf described his partner as "the soul of melody... a man who made the piano sing... both big in body and in mind... known for his generosity... a bubbling bundle of joy". It's possible he composed many more popular songs and sold them to other performers when times were tough.

Waller started playing the piano at the age of six, and became a professional organist aged 15. By the age of 18 he was a recording artist. Waller's first recordings, "Muscle Shoals Blues" and "Birmingham Blues", were made in October 1922 for Okeh Records. That year, he also made his first player piano roll, "Got to Cool My Doggies Now". Waller's first published composition, "Squeeze Me", was published in 1924. He became one of the most popular performers of his era, touring internationally and achieving critical and commercial success in the United States and Europe. He died from pneumonia, aged 39.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 21st, 1904 (New York City), Died Kansas City

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, leader, vocalist, composer, pipe organ, songwriter, celeste, arranger, lyricist, organ, director, electric organ, speaker

Notes: Sometimes listed as Thomas Waller or Thomas Wright Waller.

Recordings (Results 326-350 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-021155 10-in. 3/11/1938 Don't try to cry your way back to me Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022163 10-in. 4/5/1938 Honeysuckle Rose Vernon Geyer Electric organ solo, with piano composer  
Victor BS-022429 10-in. 4/12/1938 In the gloaming Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, leader, arranger, vocalist  
Victor BS-022430 10-in. 4/12/1938 You had an ev'ning to spare Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022431 10-in. 4/12/1938 Let's break the good news Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022432 10-in. 4/12/1938 Skrontch Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022433 10-in. 4/12/1938 I simply adore you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022434 10-in. 4/12/1938 The sheik of Araby Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-022435 10-in. 4/12/1938 Hold my hand Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist, songwriter  
Victor BS-022436 10-in. 4/12/1938 Inside (This heart of mine) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist, songwriter  
Victor BS-023760 10-in. 7/1/1938 There's honey on the moon tonight Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-023761 10-in. 7/1/1938 If I were you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-023762 10-in. 7/1/1938 (Take me back to) The wide open places Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-023763 10-in. 7/1/1938 On the bumpy road to love Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-023764 10-in. 7/1/1938 Fair and square Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-023765 10-in. 7/1/1938 We, the people Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-025475 10-in. 9/14/1938 I had to do it Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-027289 10-in. 10/13/1938 Two sleepy people Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-027290 10-in. 10/13/1938 Shame! Shame! (Everybody knows your name) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-027291 10-in. 10/13/1938 I'll never forgive myself (For not forgiving you) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-027292 10-in. 10/13/1938 You look good to me Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-027293 10-in. 10/13/1938 Tell me with your kisses Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-027294 10-in. 10/13/1938 Yacht club swing Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, leader, songwriter  
Victor BS-030363 10-in. 12/7/1938 Love, I'd give my life for you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-030364 10-in. 12/7/1938 I wish I had you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
(Results 326-350 of 572 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed September 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.

Waller, Fats. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.

"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 September 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963

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