Image Source: Wikipedia

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 476-500 of 572 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W151842 10-in. 10/14/1931 I got the Ritz from the one I love Jack Teagarden Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano  
Columbia W152169 10-in. 4/11/1932 Keepin' out of mischief now Nitecaps Male vocal trio, with piano composer  
Columbia W152170 10-in. 4/11/1932 If it ain't love Nitecaps Male vocal trio, with piano songwriter  
Columbia W152208 10-in. 6/7/1932 Strange as it seems Harlan Lattimore Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W152226 10-in. 6/27/1932 My heart's at ease Art Kassel ; "Kassels-in-the-Air" Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal ensemble composer  
Columbia W152251 10-in. 8/5/1932 Sheltered by the stars, cradled by the moon Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet composer  
Columbia W152271 10-in. 8/18/1932 Zonky Three Keys Male vocal trio, with guitar and piano composer  
Columbia W152324 10-in. 12/9/1932 Honeysuckle Rose Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia W152667 10-in. 1/11/1934 Ain't misbehavin' Claude Hopkins and his Orchestra ; Orlando Robinson Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Columbia W152772 10-in. 7/6/1934 If it ain't love Chick Webb Orchestra ; Charles Linton Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Columbia W351165 10-in. 3/21/1932 Keepin' out of mischief now Paul Specht Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
OKeh S-70948 10-in. Oct. 1922 Muscle Shoals blues Thomas Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-70949 10-in. Oct. 1922 Birmingham blues Thomas Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71068 10-in. Dec. 1922 'Tain't nobody's bus'ness if I do Sara Martin ; Fats Waller Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71069 10-in. Dec. 1922 You got ev'ry thing a sweet mama needs but me Sara Martin ; Fats Waller Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71105 10-in. Dec. 1922 Mama's got the blues Sara Martin ; Thomas Waller Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71106 10-in. Dec. 1922 Last go round blues Sara Martin ; Thomas Waller Female vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71984 10-in. 11/1/1923 I'm cert'ny gonna see 'bout that Sara Martin ; Clarence Williams Female-male vocal duet,with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-71985 10-in. 11/1/1923 Squabbling blues Sara Martin ; Clarence Williams Female-male vocal duet, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-72514 10-in. May 1924 You don't know my mind blues Jamaica Jazzers Jazz/dance quartet instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-72515 10-in. May 1924 West Indies blues Jamaica Jazzers Jazz/dance quartet instrumentalist, piano  
OKeh S-72531 10-in. May 1924 When you're tired of me (Just let me know) Eva Taylor Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance quartet composer  
OKeh S-72853 10-in. Sept. 1924 Old fashioned Sara blues Sara Martin ; Clarence Williams Female vocal solo, with piano songwriter  
OKeh S-72855 10-in. Sept. 1924 I'd rather be blue than green Sara Martin ; Clarence Williams Female vocal solo, with piano songwriter  
OKeh S-72939 10-in. Oct. 1924 Any day the sun don't shine Virginia Liston ; Clarence Williams Female vocal solo, with clarinet and piano songwriter  
(Results 476-500 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

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.