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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 451-475 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W149469 10-in. 11/4/1929 My fate is in your hands Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W149639 10-in. 1/3/1930 What makes me love you so? The Seven Gallon Jug Band Jazz/dance band vocalist  
Columbia W149665 10-in. 12/3/1929 Zonky Clarence Williams’ Jazz Kings Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Columbia W149690 10-in. 12/6/1929 Wipe 'em off The Seven Gallon Jug Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo(s) vocalist  
Columbia W149707 10-in. 12/10/1929 My fate is in your hands Paul Small Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W149774 10-in. 1/16/1930 Blue, turning grey over you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W149775 10-in. 1/17/1930 Blue, turning grey over you Barney Trimble and his Oklahomans ; Irving Kaufman Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W149932 10-in. 1/29/1930 Gone Charlie Lawman Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Columbia W149950 10-in. 1/31/1930 (What did I do to be so) Black and blue? Mills Merry Makers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W149971 10-in. 2/6/1930 Find out what they like (And how they like it) Lena Wilson Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano composer  
Columbia W149986 10-in. 2/14/1930 Gone Sam Lanin Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist  
Columbia W150160 10-in. 4/1/1930 (What did I do to be so) Black and blue Ethel Waters Female vocal solo composer  
Columbia W150455 10-in. 4/10/1930 Rollin' down the river Carmen Lombardo ; Guy Lombardo ; Royal Canadians Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W150475 10-in. 4/17/1930 Rollin' down the river Jim Andrews ; Golden Gate Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W150997 10-in. 12/2/1930 Keep a song in your soul Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Columbia W151396 10-in. 3/5/1931 I'm crazy 'bout my baby (And my baby's crazy 'bout me Ted Lewis and his Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, composer  
Columbia W151397 10-in. 3/6/1931 Dallas blues Ted Lewis and his Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W151398 10-in. 3/6/1931 Royal Garden blues Ted Lewis and his Band Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist  
Columbia W151417 10-in. 3/13/1931 I'm crazy 'bout my baby (And my baby's crazy 'bout me) Fats Waller Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Columbia W151418 10-in. 3/13/1931 Draggin' my heart around Fats Waller Male vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Columbia W151426 10-in. 3/16/1931 I'm crazy 'bout my baby (And my baby's crazy 'bout me) Selvin’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W151658 10-in. 6/30/1931 Take it from me (I'm takin' to you) The Sunshine Boys Male vocal duet composer  
Columbia W151827 10-in. 10/5/1931 Concentratin' California Ramblers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W151839 10-in. 10/14/1931 You rascal you Jack Teagarden Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia W151840 10-in. 10/14/1931 That's what I like about you Jack Teagarden Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
(Results 451-475 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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