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 501-525 of 572 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|OKeh||S-73359||10-in.||5/7/1925||Home alone blues||George McClennon Jazz Devils ; Eddie Heywood||Jazz/dance band, with piano||composer|
|OKeh||S-73360||10-in.||5/7/1925||Anybody here want to try my cabbage?||George McClennon Jazz Devils||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||73738||10-in.||10/26/1925||Squeeze me||Clarence Williams’ Blue Five ; Eva Taylor||Instrumental sextet, with female vocal solo||songwriter|
|OKeh||74072||10-in.||3/25/1926||Brother Ben||Sara Martin||Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet||songwriter|
|OKeh||74206||10-in.||July 1926||Senorita mine||Eva Taylor ; Clarence Williams||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|OKeh||74207||10-in.||July 1926||Charleston hound||Eva Taylor ; Clarence Williams||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|OKeh||74453||12/21/1926||Midnight stomp||Esther Bigeou||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||songwriter|
|OKeh||W80258||10-in.||12/21/1926||Midnight stomp||Esther Bigeou||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||songwriter|
|OKeh||W80729||10-in.||4/14/1927||Old folks shuffle||Clarence Williams’ Blue Five||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W80854||10-in.||5/10/1927||Alligator crawl||Louis Armstrong ; Hot Seven||Jazz/dance ensemble||composer|
|OKeh||W81450||10-in.||9/17/1927||Wringin' an' twistin'||Bix Beiderbecke ; Eddie Lang ; Frank Trumbauer||Jazz/dance trio||composer|
|OKeh||W81825||10-in.||11/15/1927||I'm more than satisfied||Larry Abbott Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet||composer|
|OKeh||W400974||10-in.||6/29/1928||Squeeze me||Louis Armstrong ; Hot Five||Jazz/dance sextet, with male vocal solo and male vocal trio||songwriter|
|OKeh||W401467||10-in.||12/19/1928||Freeze out||Clarence Williams Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W401784||10-in.||4/4/1929||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Smith Ballew||Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W401815||10-in.||4/19/1929||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Little Molers ; Miff Mole||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W402534||10-in.||7/19/1929||Ain't misbehavin'||Louis Armstrong Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||W402535||10-in.||7/22/1929||(What did I do to be so) Black and blue||Louis Armstrong Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||W402540||10-in.||7/19/1929||That rhythm man||Louis Armstrong Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||W402541||10-in.||7/19/1929||Sweet Savannah Sue||Louis Armstrong Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|OKeh||W402551||10-in.||8/2/1929||Jungle jamboree||Harlem Footwarmers||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W402552||10-in.||8/2/1929||Six or seven times||Duke Ellington Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W402553||10-in.||8/2/1929||Snake hip dance||Duke Ellington Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W402881||10-in.||8/23/1929||Ain't misbehavin'||Seger Ellis||Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|OKeh||W402966||10-in.||9/18/1929||Six or seven times||The Little Chocolate Dandies||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||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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