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|
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.
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