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 December 15th, 1943 (Kansas City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1922 - 1948
Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, leader, vocalist, composer, songwriter, pipe organ, director, celeste, arranger, organ, lyricist, electric organ, speaker
Notes: Sometimes listed as Thomas Waller or Thomas Wright Waller.
Recordings (Results 76-100 of 652 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-57139||10-in.||11/7/1929||Peggy||McKinney's Cotton Pickers||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano, celeste|
|Victor||BVE-57140||10-in.||11/7/1929||Wherever there's a will, baby||McKinney's Cotton Pickers ; Don Redman||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, piano, celeste|
|Victor||BVE-57170||10-in.||11/25/1929||My fate Is in your hands||Gene Austin||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer, instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-57190||10-in.||12/4/1929||My fate is in your hands||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano, composer|
|Victor||BVE-57191||10-in.||12/4/1929||Turn on the heat||Fats Waller||Piano solo||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-57539||10-in.||11/14/1929||My fate is in your hands||Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra||Orchestra, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-57701||10-in.||11/18/1929||You don't understand||Jimmie Johnson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-57702||10-in.||11/18/1929||You've got to be modernistic||Jimmie Johnson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-57926||10-in.||12/18/1929||Lookin' for another sweetie||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, piano, director|
|Victor||BVE-57927||10-in.||12/18/1929||Ridin' but walkin'||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano, director, composer|
|Victor||BVE-57928||10-in.||12/18/1929||Won't you get off it please||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band||instrumentalist, piano, director, composer|
|Victor||BVE-57929||10-in.||12/18/1929||When I'm alone||Fats Waller’s Buddies||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||instrumentalist, piano, director|
|Victor||BVE-58546||10-in.||2/3/1930||Honeysuckle rose||McKinney's Cotton Pickers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-58575||10-in.||2/14/1930||Gone||Frank Luther ; Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-58621||10-in.||1/24/1930||Blue, turning grey over you||Burt Lorin ; Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra||Orchestra, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Victor||BVE-59140||10-in.||2/3/1930||Zonky||McKinney's Cotton Pickers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-59693||10-in.||4/11/1930||My gal is good for nothing but love||Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BVE-59720||10-in.||3/21/1930||St. Louis blues||Bennie Paine ; Fats Waller||Piano duet||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-59721||10-in.||3/21/1930||After you've gone||Bennie Paine ; Fats Waller||Piano duet||instrumentalist, piano|
|Victor||BVE-59784||10-in.||5/12/1930||Rollin' down the river||Leo Reisman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-62271||10-in.||6/9/1930||Rollin' down the river||Gene Austin||Male vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble||composer|
|Victor||BVE-62935||10-in.||11/4/1930||Squeeze me||Tiny Parham and his Musicians||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BVE-67799||10-in.||1/16/1931||Keep a song in your soul||Chick Bullock ; Cotton Club Orchestra ; Duke Ellington||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Victor||BRC-68221||10-in.||6/4/1931||I'm crazy 'bout my baby||The Melody Four||Vocal quartet, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BRC-68823||10-in.||3/25/1931||I'm crazy 'bout my baby (And my baby's crazy 'bout me)||Walter Ashby ; Snooks Friedman Memphis Stompers||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed June 12, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
Waller, Fats. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 12, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.
"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 12 June 2021.
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