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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 51-75 of 551 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-49762 10-in. 3/1/1929 Numb fumblin' Fats Waller Piano solo composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-51230 10-in. 4/16/1929 I'm not worrying Clarence Williams Band Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-51231 10-in. 4/16/1929 Touch-down Clarence Williams Band Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-53498 10-in. 7/9/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-53586 10-in. 6/26/1929 I've got a feeling I'm falling Gene Austin Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-53968 10-in. 7/30/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Gene Austin Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-55375 10-in. 8/29/1929 Waitin' at the end of the road Fats Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-55376 10-in. 8/29/1929 Baby! Oh where can you be? Fats Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-55928 10-in. 9/20/1929 Sweet Savannah Sue Royal Flush Orchestra ; Fess Williams Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-55929 10-in. 9/20/1929 Ain't misbehavin' Royal Flush Orchestra ; Fess Williams Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet composer  
Victor BVE-56067 10-in. 8/29/1929 Waiting at the end of the road Fats Waller Pipe organ solo instrumentalist, pipe organ  
Victor BVE-56068 10-in. 8/29/1929 Baby, oh where can you be? Fats Waller Pipe organ solo instrumentalist, pipe organ  
Victor BVE-56069 10-in. 8/29/1929 Tanglefoot Fats Waller Pipe organ solo composer, instrumentalist, pipe organ  
Victor BVE-56070 10-in. 8/29/1929 That's all Fats Waller Pipe organ solo instrumentalist, pipe organ, composer  
Victor BVE-56125 10-in. 9/11/1929 Goin' about Fats Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-56126 10-in. 9/11/1929 My feelin's are hurt Fats Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BVE-56710 10-in. 9/24/1929 Smashing thirds Fats Waller Piano solo composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-56727 10-in. 9/30/1929 Lookin' good but feelin' bad Fats Waller’s Buddies ; Four Wanderers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet instrumentalist, piano, composer, leader  
Victor BVE-56728 10-in. 9/30/1929 I need someone like you Fats Waller’s Buddies ; Four Wanderers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet leader, composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-56782 10-in. 10/14/1929 Big business Ed Green, Billy Higgins and Company Comic scene, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-56783 10-in. 10/14/1929 Big business Ed Green, Billy Higgins and Company Comic scene, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57064 10-in. 11/5/1929 Plain dirt McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-57066 10-in. 11/6/1929 I'd love it McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, celeste, piano  
Victor BVE-57067 10-in. 11/6/1929 The way I feel today McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste  
Victor BVE-57068 10-in. 11/6/1929 Miss Hannah McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste  
(Results 51-75 of 551 records)

Citation

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.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963

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