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 26-50 of 551 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-40078||10-in.||11/14/1927||Gone but not forgotten (Florence Mills)||Carroll C. Tate||Male vocal solo, with violin and piano||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-40079||10-in.||11/14/1927||You live on in memory||Carroll C. Tate||Male vocal solo, with violin and pipe organ||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-40080||10-in.||11/14/1927||Bye bye Florence||Bert Howell||Male vocal solo, with pipe organ||instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-40081||10-in.||11/14/1927||Memories of Florence Mills||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||composer, instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-40093||10-in.||12/1/1927||He's gone away||Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies ; Fats Waller||Jazz/dance ensemble||instrumentalist, piano, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-40094||10-in.||12/1/1927||I ain't got nobody (And nobody cares for me)||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-40095||10-in.||12/1/1927||The digah's stomp||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||composer, instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-40096||10-in.||12/1/1927||Red hot Dan||Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies ; Fats Waller||Jazz/dance ensemble, with scat vocal chorus||instrumentalist, pipe organ, piano|
|Victor||BVE-40097||10-in.||12/1/1927||Geechee||Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies ; Fats Waller||Jazz/dance ensemble||instrumentalist, pipe organ, piano|
|Victor||BVE-40098||10-in.||12/1/1927||Please take me out of jail||Thomas Morris ; Morris' Hot Babies ; Fats Waller||Jazz/dance ensemble||instrumentalist, pipe organ, composer, piano|
|Victor||BVE-42566||10-in.||3/27/1928||Willow tree||Louisiana Sugar Babes||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-42567||10-in.||3/27/1928||'Sippi||Louisiana Sugar Babes||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-42568||10-in.||3/27/1928||Thou swell||Louisiana Sugar Babes||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-42569||10-in.||3/27/1928||Persian rug||Louisiana Sugar Babes||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Victor||BVE-43384||10-in.||3/21/1928||I'm more than satisfied||All Star Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-47993||10-in.||5/7/1929||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Jesse Crawford||Pipe organ solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-49492||10-in.||8/2/1929||Ain't misbehavin'||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-49493||10-in.||8/2/1929||Sweet Savannah Sue||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-49494||10-in.||8/2/1929||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-49495||10-in.||8/2/1929||Love me or leave me||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-49496||10-in.||8/2/1929||Gladyse||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-49497||10-in.||8/2/1929||Valentine stomp||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-49759||10-in.||3/1/1929||Handful of keys||Fats Waller||Piano solo||composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-49760||10-in.||3/1/1929||The minor drag||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano, composer, leader|
|Victor||BVE-49761||10-in.||3/1/1929||Harlem fuss||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano, composer, leader|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed August 11, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
Waller, Fats. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 11, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 11 August 2020.
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