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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 76-100 of 551 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  
(Results 76-100 of 551 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Waller, Fats," accessed August 9, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.

Waller, Fats. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 9, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101963.

"Waller, Fats." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 9 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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