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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 201-225 of 551 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-98196 10-in. 12/4/1935 Fat and greasy Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-98197 10-in. 12/4/1935 Functionizin' Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, piano, composer, leader  
Victor BS-98198 10-in. 12/4/1935 I got rhythm Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-98894 10-in. 2/1/1936 The panic is on Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, instrumentalist, piano, leader  
Victor BS-98895 10-in. 2/1/1936 Sugar rose Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-98896 10-in. 2/1/1936 Oooh! Look-a-there, ain't she pretty? Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-98897 10-in. 2/1/1936 Moon rose Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-98898 10-in. 2/1/1936 West wind Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-98899 10-in. 2/1/1936 That never-to-be-forgotten night Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-99035 10-in. 2/1/1936 Sing an old fashioned song (To a young sophisticated lady) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-99036 10-in. 2/1/1936 Garbo green Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101189 10-in. 4/8/1936 All my life Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101190 10-in. 4/8/1936 Christopher Columbus Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo vocalist, instrumentalist, piano, leader  
Victor BS-101191 10-in. 4/8/1936 Cross patch Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101192 10-in. 4/8/1936 It's no fun Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101193 10-in. 4/8/1936 Cabin in the sky Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101194 10-in. 4/8/1936 Us on a bus Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-101667 10-in. 6/5/1936 It's a sin to tell a lie Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-101668 10-in. 6/5/1936 The more I know you (The more I love you) Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-101669 10-in. 6/5/1936 You're not the kind Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-101670 10-in. 6/5/1936 Why do I lie to myself about you? Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, vocalist, instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-101671 10-in. 6/5/1936 Let's sing again Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader, instrumentalist, piano, vocalist  
Victor BS-101672 10-in. 6/5/1936 Big Chief De Sota Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, leader  
Victor BS-102016 10-in. 6/8/1936 Black raspberry jam Fats Waller and his Rhythm ; Fats Waller Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, composer, vocalist, lyricist, leader  
Victor BS-102017 10-in. 6/8/1936 Bach up to me Fats Waller and his Rhythm Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, piano, vocalist, composer, lyricist, leader  
(Results 201-225 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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