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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 101-125 of 551 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BRC-69788 10-in. 11/18/1931 Concentratin' (On you) Blanche Calloway and her Joy Boys Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor BRC-69993 10-in. 6/30/1931 Take it from me (I'm takin' to you) Leo Reisman Orchestra ; Lee Wiley Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-70625 10-in. 11/24/1931 Concentratin' (On you) Mildred Bailey Female vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BSHQ-72201 10-in. 3/24/1932 Keepin' out of mischief now Coon-Sanders Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BRC-72538 10-in. 5/4/1932 If it ain't love Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BSHQ-72897 10-in. 6/14/1932 If it ain't love Dick Clark Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BSHQ-73037 10-in. 6/27/1932 Old yazoo Pennsylvanians ; Fred Waring ; Frank Zullo Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal chorus composer, lyricist  
Victor BSHQ-73118 10-in. 7/25/1932 My heart's at ease The Funnyboners ; Ruby Newman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal ensemble composer  
Victor BSHQ-73150 10-in. 8/3/1932 Lonesome me Russ Columbo Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BSHQ-73164 10-in. 8/4/1932 Sheltered by the stars Gene Kardos Orchestra ; Dick Robertson Jazz/dance band (take 3); with male vocal solo (takes 1 and 2) composer  
Victor BS-73306 10-in. 8/18/1932 Oh! you sweet thing Billy Banks Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-73749 10-in. 10/4/1932 Angeline Davis Trio Instrumental trio, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-74822 10-in. 12/8/1932 I hate to leave you now Louis Armstrong Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with trumpet solo and male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-76794 10-in. 8/28/1933 Ain't-cha glad? Isham Jones Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-77204 10-in. 12/5/1933 Sittin' up waitin' for you Red Ingle ; Ted Weems Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-78062 10-in. 10/2/1933 Ain't-cha glad? Ernie Holst ; Hotel Lexington Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-81327 10-in. 1/26/1934 Leaving me JImmie Lunceford Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BS-82526 10-in. 5/16/1934 A porter's love song to a chambermaid Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-82527 10-in. 5/16/1934 I wish I were twins Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-82528 10-in. 5/16/1934 Armful o' sweetness Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-82529 10-in. 5/16/1934 Do me a favor Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-83699 10-in. 8/17/1934 Georgia May Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84106 10-in. 8/17/1934 Then I'll be tired of you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84107 10-in. 8/17/1934 Don't let It bother you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and dialogue (take 1); with male vocal solo (take 2) instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, speaker, leader  
Victor BS-84108 10-in. 8/17/1934 Have a little dream on me Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
(Results 101-125 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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