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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 351-375 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-030365 10-in. 12/7/1938 I'll dance at your wedding Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-030366 10-in. 12/7/1938 Imagine my surprise Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-030367 10-in. 12/7/1938 I won't believe it (Till I hear it from you) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-030368 10-in. 12/7/1938 The spider and the fly Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist, songwriter  
Victor BS-030369 10-in. 12/7/1938 Patty cake, patty cake (Baker man) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader, songwriter  
Victor BS-031530 10-in. 1/19/1939 A good man is hard to find Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-031531 10-in. 1/19/1939 You out-smarted yourself Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-031532 10-in. 1/19/1939 Last night a miracle happened Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-031533 10-in. 1/19/1939 Good for nothin' but love Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-031534 10-in. 1/19/1939 Hold tight (Want some sea food mama) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-031535 10-in. 1/19/1939 Kiss me with your eyes Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032942 10-in. 3/9/1939 You asked for it—you got it Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032943 10-in. 3/9/1939 Some rainy day Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032944 10-in. 3/9/1939 'Tain't what you do (It's the way that cha do it) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032945 10-in. 3/9/1939 Got no time Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032946 10-in. 3/9/1939 Step up and shake my hand Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032947 10-in. 3/9/1939 Undecided Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-032948 10-in. 3/9/1939 Remember who you're promised to Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-Test-033993 16-in. 3/6/1939 Sweet Sue Gene Austin ; Fats Waller Male vocal solo and electric organ, with guitar and string bass instrumentalist, electric organ  
Victor BS-Test-033994 16-in. 3/6/1939 I can't give you anything but love Gene Austin ; Fats Waller Male vocal solo and electric organ, with guitar and string bass instrumentalist, electric organ  
Victor BS-035031 10-in. 3/15/1939 Patty cake, patty cake (Baker man) Bunny Berigan Orchestra ; Kathleen Lane Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-038208 10-in. 6/28/1939 I used to love you (But it's all over now) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-038209 10-in. 6/28/1939 Wait and see Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist, composer  
Victor BS-038210 10-in. 6/28/1939 You meet the nicest people in your dreams Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-038211 10-in. 6/28/1939 Anita Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, composer, leader  
(Results 351-375 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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