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 21, 1904 (New York City), Died December 15, 1943 (Kansas City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1951
Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, leader, vocalist, composer, songwriter, pipe organ, director, celeste, arranger, organ, electric organ, lyricist, speaker
Notes: Sometimes listed as Thomas Waller or Thomas Wright Waller.
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 51-75 of 686 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||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|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||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|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||composer, instrumentalist, piano, 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||composer, instrumentalist, piano, leader|
|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, piano, celeste|
|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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed June 24, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
Waller, Fats. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 24, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 24 June 2022.
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