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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 426-450 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W144317 10-in. 6/11/1927 Alligator crawl 14 Doctors of Syncopation ; Doc Cook Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W144550 10-in. 8/23/1927 St. Louis shuffle Paul Specht Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W144955 10-in. 11/4/1927 Hop off Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W145533 10-in. 1/17/1928 Back in your own back yard Johnny Thompson Male vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia W145534 10-in. 1/17/1928 Nobody knows (How much I love you) Johnny Thompson Male vocal solo, with violin,cello, and piano instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Columbia W145604 10-in. 2/1/1928 One o'clock blues Connie's Inn Orchestra (Leroy Tibbs) ; Leroy Tibbs Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W145839 10-in. 3/26/1928 I'm more than satisfied Guy Lombardo ; Royal Canadians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio composer  
Columbia W145947 10-in. 5/4/1928 Chinese blues Charles W. Hamp Male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W147726 10-in. 12/21/1928 If you like me like I like you Clarence Williams’ Jazz Kings Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W148432 10-in. 4/12/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling Willard Robison and the Levee Loungers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia 148459 10-in. 4/19/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling Irving Kaufman ; Ray Nichols ; Palais Royal Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W148484 10-in. 5/8/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling Campus Boys ; Ted Wallace Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal ensemble composer  
Columbia W148489 10-in. 5/9/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling Annette Hanshaw ; The New Englanders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W148529 10-in. 5/14/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling The Mystery Girl Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W148640 10-in. 5/28/1929 That rhythm man Sonny Greer and his Memphis Men Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W148745 10-in. 6/21/1929 I'm not worrying Clarence Williams’ Jazz Kings Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W148762 10-in. 6/28/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Charleston Chasers Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Columbia W148791 10-in. 7/6/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Jerry Mason and his Californians ; Robert Wood Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W148817 10-in. 7/16/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Sammy Fain Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W148905 10-in. 8/20/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Ruth Etting Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W148941 10-in. 8/26/1929 Freeze out Clarence Williams’ Jazz Kings Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W149057 10-in. 9/26/1929 Railroad rhythm Clarence Williams’ Jazz Kings Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W149100 10-in. 10/5/1929 Ain't misbehavin' George Bias Male vocal solo, with violin and piano composer  
Columbia W149183 10-in. 10/25/1929 My fate is in your hands Carmen Lombardo ; Guy Lombardo ; Royal Canadians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W149404 10-in. 11/11/1929 My fate is in your hands Lou Gold Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
(Results 426-450 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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