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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 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  
(Results 26-50 of 551 records)

Citation

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.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963

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