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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 126-150 of 551 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-84272 10-in. 9/14/1934 How can you face me? George Hall ; Hotel Taft Orchestra ; Loretta Lee Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-84417 10-in. 9/28/1934 Serenade for a wealthy widow Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and talk vocalist, speaker, instrumentalist, celeste, piano, leader  
Victor BS-84418 10-in. 9/28/1934 How can you face me? Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and talk composer, vocalist, instrumentalist, celeste, piano, speaker, leader  
Victor BS-84419 10-in. 9/28/1934 Sweetie pie Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, instrumentalist, celeste, piano, leader  
Victor BS-84420 10-in. 9/28/1934 Mandy Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84421 10-in. 9/28/1934 Let's pretend there's a moon Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84422 10-in. 9/28/1934 You're not the only oyster In the stew Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, celeste, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84921 10-in. 11/7/1934 Honeysuckle rose Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano, leader  
Victor BS-84922 10-in. 11/7/1934 Believe it, beloved Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84923 10-in. 11/7/1934 Dream man (Make me dream some more) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84924 10-in. 11/7/1934 I'm growing fonder of you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84925 10-in. 11/7/1934 If it isn't love Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-84926 10-in. 11/7/1934 Breakin' the ice Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-86208 10-in. 11/16/1934 African ripples Fats Waller Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Victor BS-86209 10-in. 11/16/1934 Clothes line ballet Fats Waller Piano solo composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-86210 10-in. 11/16/1934 Alligator crawl Fats Waller Piano solo composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-86211 10-in. 11/16/1934 Viper's drag Fats Waller Piano solo composer, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-86451 10-in. 12/14/1934 Alligator crawl Sepia Serenaders Instrumental trio composer  
Victor BS-87082 10-in. 1/5/1935 I'm a hundred percent for you Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo (takes 1 and 2); Jazz/dance band (take 3) instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-87083 10-in. 1/5/1935 Baby brown Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo (takes 1 and 2); Jazz/dance band (take 3) leader, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-87084 10-in. 1/5/1935 Night wind Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, pipe organ, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-87085 10-in. 1/5/1935 Because of once upon a time Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-87086 10-in. 1/5/1935 I believe in miracles Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, leader, instrumentalist, pipe organ  
Victor BS-87087 10-in. 1/5/1935 You fit into the picture Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
Victor BS-88776 10-in. 3/6/1935 Louisiana fairy tale Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, leader, vocalist  
(Results 126-150 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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