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 526-550 of 551 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|OKeh||W490085||10-in.||6/9/1930||Rollin' down the river||Lanin’s Famous Players||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C2315||10-in.||9/14/1928||Hop off||Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C339-C340||10-in.||5/28/1926||Georgia bo-bo||Lil's Hot Shots||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Brunswick||E28029||10-in.||8/10/1928||Estoy mas que satisfecho||Marimba Guatemalteca de Luis Betancourt||Marimba band||composer|
|Brunswick||E30094||10-in.||6/28/1929||Ain’t misbehavin’||Abe Lyman’s California Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||composer|
|Brunswick||E31743||10-in.||12/26/1929||Zonky||Bill Brown ; Brownies||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E36912||10-in.||7/8/1931||It’s you||Boswell Sisters ; Dorsey Brothers Orchestra||Female vocal trio, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||E17612-E17615||10-in.||1/21/1926||Chinese blues||The Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||songwriter|
|Brunswick||E23633-E23635||10-in.||6/15/1927||Alligator crawl||Royal Flush Orchestra ; Fess Williams||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Edison||18240||10-in.||2/16/1928||I'm more than satisfied||Duke Yellman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Edison||18922||10-in.||12/6/1928||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Duke Yellman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Edison||19161||10-in.||4/17/1929||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Vaughn De Leath ; Muriel Pollock||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Edison||N-615||10-in.||12/6/1928||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Duke Yellman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Edison||N-860||10-in.||4/17/1928||I've got a feeling I'm falling||Vaughn De Leath||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Edison||N-1084||10-in.||8/22/1929||Ain't misbehavin'||Golden Gate Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Gramophone||0LA1742||10-in.||4/28/1937||Honeysuckle rose||Coleman Hawkins All-Star Jam Band||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Gramophone||0EA6383||10-in.||8/21/1938||Don't try your jive on me||Fats Waller and his Rhythm||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and organ solo||leader, instrumentalist, organ, vocalist|
|Gramophone||0EA6385||10-in.||8/28/1938||Swing low, sweet chariot||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, pipe organ, arranger|
|Gramophone||0EA6386||10-in.||8/28/1938||All God's chillun got wings||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, pipe organ, arranger|
|Gramophone||0EA6387||10-in.||8/28/1938||Go down, Moses||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, pipe organ, arranger|
|Gramophone||0EA6388||10-in.||8/28/1938||Deep river||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, pipe organ, arranger|
|Gramophone||0EA6389||10-in.||8/28/1938||Water boy||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||instrumentalist, pipe organ, arranger|
|Gramophone||0EA6390||10-in.||8/28/1938||Lonesome road||Fats Waller||Pipe organ solo||arranger, instrumentalist, pipe organ|
|Vocalion||E7367||10-in.||6/13/1928||I’m more than satisfied||The Original Memphis Five||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Vocalion||E1540-E1542||10-in.||10/29/1925||House party stomp||Three Jolly Miners||Instrumental trio||composer|
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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