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 551-575 of 583 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Brunswick||E28029||10-in.||8/10/1928||Estoy mas que satisfecho||Marimba Guatemalteca de Luis Betancourt||Marimba band||composer|
|Brunswick||E29557||10-in.||Mar. 1929||I’ve got a feeling I’m falling||Ben Bernie ; Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra ; Scrappy Lambert||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||composer|
|Brunswick||E29591||10-in.||Apr. 1929||I’ve got a feeling I’m falling||Scrappy Lambert||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||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||E30526||10-in.||9/4/1929||Ain’t misbehavin’||Hotsy Totsy Gang ; Irving Mills ; Bill Robinson||Tap dance solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||E30601||10-in.||8/1/1929||Ain’t misbehavin’||Dick Robertson||Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||E31697||10-in.||Dec. 1929||Gone||Eddy Thomas||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Brunswick||E31743||10-in.||12/26/1929||Zonky||Bill Brown ; Brownies||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E31919||10-in.||1/31/1930||Black and blue||Adrian Rollini ; Snake & Teddy||Saxophone solo, with piano and guitar||composer|
|Brunswick||E31944||10-in.||1/20/1930||Squeeze me||Louisiana Rhythm Kings||Jazz/dance band||songwriter|
|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|
|Brunswick||E30421-E30422||10-in.||7/31/1929||Can’t we get together?||Hotsy Totsy Gang ; Irving Mills||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||composer|
|Brunswick||E30423-E34024||10-in.||7/31/1929||Sweet Savannah Sue||Hotsy Totsy Gang ; Irving Mills||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||composer|
|Brunswick||E31441-E31442||10-in.||Nov. 1929||My fate is in your hands||Meyer Davis Hotel Astor Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed September 25, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
Waller, Fats. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 25 September 2020.
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