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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 401-425 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-075469 10-in. 7/30/1942 That's what the well-dressed man in Harlem will wear Victor First Nighter Orchestra ; Fats Waller Male vocal solo and male vocal chorus, with orchestra vocalist  
Victor BVE-Test-425[a] 10-in. 10/10/1929 My fate is in your hands Howard Phillips Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-Test-688 10-in. 12/3/1929 My fate is in your hands Eubie Blake Piano solo composer  
Victor BVE-Test-932 10-in. 2/13/1930 My fate is in your hands Alex D. Richardson Organ solo composer  
Victor BS-Test-2451 10-in. 3/11/1938 Marie Fats Waller and his Rhythm Male vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Columbia 140174 10-in. 12/10/1924 Anybody here want to try my cabbage? Maggie Jones Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano composer  
Columbia W140774 10-in. 7/17/1925 Harlem's Araby Get Happy Band Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W140997 10-in. 9/25/1925 Squeeze me Albert Brunies ; Halfway House Dance Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W141373 10-in. 12/9/1925 Squeeze me Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano songwriter  
Columbia W141768 10-in. 3/5/1926 Squeeze me Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano songwriter  
Columbia W141943 10-in. 4/9/1926 Florida low down Original Indiana Five Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W142069 10-in. 4/21/1926 That Florida low down Francis Craig Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W142306 10-in. 6/16/1926 Señorita mine Blue Grass Foot Warmers Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W142307 10-in. 6/16/1926 Charleston hound Blue Grass Foot Warmers Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W142330 10-in. 6/21/1926 Old folks' shuffle Blue Grass Foot Warmers Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W142591 10-in. 9/3/1926 Charleston hound Willie Jackson ; Clarence Williams Male vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano composer  
Columbia W142696 10-in. 9/28/1926 Señorita mine Clarence Williams Band ; Lucille Hegamin Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W143612 10-in. 3/10/1927 Anywhere Sweetie goes (I'll be there) Dixie Washboard Band ; Shufflin' Sam Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W143639 10-in. 3/23/1927 St. Louis shuffle Dixie Stompers Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W144132 10-in. 5/11/1927 Whiteman stomp Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W144159 10-in. 5/17/1927 I'll die with the sword in my hand Rev. J. C. Burnett ; Ethel Grainger ; Odette Jackson Sermon, with male vocal solo, female vocal duet, and organ instrumentalist, organ  
Columbia W144162 10-in. 5/17/1927 Preach the word Rev. J. C. Burnett ; Ethel Grainger ; Odette Jackson Male vocal solo and female vocal duet, with organ instrumentalist, organ  
Columbia W144163 10-in. 5/17/1927 I'll just stand and ring my hands and cry Rev. J. C. Burnett ; Ethel Grainger ; Odette Jackson Male vocal solo and female vocal duet, with organ instrumentalist, organ  
Columbia W144164 10-in. 5/17/1927 True friendship Rev. J. C. Burnett ; Ethel Grainger ; Odette Jackson Male vocal solo and female vocal duet, with organ instrumentalist, organ  
Columbia W144165 10-in. 5/17/1927 The Christians' trouble is ended Rev. J. C. Burnett ; Ethel Grainger ; Odette Jackson Male vocal solo and female vocal duet, with organ instrumentalist, organ  
(Results 401-425 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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