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|
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.
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