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Paul Whiteman

Paul Samuel Whiteman (March 28, 1890 – December 29, 1967) was an American bandleader, composer, orchestral director, and violist.

As the leader of one of the most popular dance bands in the United States during the 1920s and early 1930s, Whiteman produced recordings that were immensely successful, and press notices often referred to him as the "King of Jazz". Some of his most popular recordings included "Whispering", "Valencia", "Three O'Clock In The Morning", "In A Little Spanish Town", and "Parade Of The Wooden Soldiers". Paul Whiteman led a usually large ensemble and explored many styles of music, such as blending symphonic music and jazz, as in his debut of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.

Whiteman recorded many jazz and pop standards during his career, including "Wang Wang Blues", "Mississippi Mud", "Rhapsody in Blue", "Wonderful One", "Hot Lips (He's Got Hot Lips When He Plays Jazz)", "Mississippi Suite", "Grand Canyon Suite", and "Trav'lin' Light". He co-wrote the 1925 jazz classic "Flamin' Mamie". His popularity faded in the swing music era of the mid-1930s, and by the 1940s he was semi-retired from music. He experienced a revival and had a comeback in the 1950s with his own network television series, Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, which ran for three seasons. He also hosted the 1954 ABC talent contest show On the Boardwalk with Paul Whiteman.

Whiteman's place in the history of early jazz is somewhat controversial. Detractors suggest that his ornately orchestrated music was jazz in name only, lacking the genre's improvisational and emotional depth, and co-opted the innovations of black musicians. Defenders note that Whiteman's fondness for jazz was genuine. He worked with black musicians as much as was feasible during an era of racial segregation. His bands included many of the era's most esteemed white musicians, and his groups handled jazz admirably as part of a larger repertoire.

Critic Scott Yanow declares that Whiteman's orchestra "did play very good jazz...His superior dance band used some of the most technically skilled musicians of the era in a versatile show that included everything from pop tunes and waltzes to semi-classical works and jazz. [...] Many of his recordings (particularly those with Beiderbecke) have been reissued numerous times and are more rewarding than his detractors would lead one to believe."

In his autobiography, Duke Ellington declared, "Paul Whiteman was known as the King of Jazz, and no one as yet has come near carrying that title with more certainty and dignity.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 28th, 1890 (Denver), Died December 29th, 1967 (Doylestown)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1920 - 1954

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, director, composer, violin, songwriter, conductor, other, arranger, session supervisor, speaker, viola

Recordings (Results 226-250 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-31534 10-in. 12/19/1924 I'll see you in my dreams Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31548 10-in. 12/24/1924 When the one you love loves you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, leader  
Victor B-31549 10-in. 12/24/1924 Call of the South Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31552 10-in. 12/26/1924 Lucky Kentucky Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31553 10-in. 12/26/1924 The only only one for me Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31554 10-in. 12/29/1924 Fascinating rhythm Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31555 10-in. 12/29/1924 Oh, lady be good! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-31556 10-in. 12/29/1924 Alabamy bound Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-32570 10-in. 5/5/1925 Tell me more! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32571 10-in. 5/5/1925 Why do I love you? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32572 10-in. 5/6/1925 Honey, I'm in love with you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32573 10-in. 5/6/1925 Ah-ha! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet director  
Victor BVE-32574 10-in. 5/6/1925 Just a little drink Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet director  
Victor BVE-32575 10-in. 5/6/1925 Gigolette Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32576 10-in. 5/7/1925 Charleston Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32597 10-in. 5/7/1925 Sing Loo Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32722 10-in. 6/2/1925 Ukulele lady Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet director  
Victor BVE-32723 10-in. 6/2/1925 Pal of my cradle days Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-32724 10-in. 6/3/1925 Steppin' in society Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32725 10-in. 6/3/1925 Let me linger longer in your arms Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
Victor BVE-32747 10-in. 7/1/1925 You forgot to remember Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo (takes 5-8); unaccompanied (takes 1-4) director  
Victor BVE-32748 10-in. 7/1/1925 Hymn to the sun Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-32749 10-in. 7/1/1925 Caprice viennois Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-32750 10-in. 7/2/1925 Indian dawn Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor BVE-32751 10-in. 7/2/1925 Ogo pogo Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo director  
(Results 226-250 of 859 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Whiteman, Paul," accessed April 13, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104378.

Whiteman, Paul. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104378.

"Whiteman, Paul." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 13 April 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104378

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