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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 51-75 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-25663 10-in. 10/21/1921 Weep no more, my mammy Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25664 10-in. 10/21/1921 Everybody step Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25674 10-in. 10/27/1921 When Buddha smiles Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25675 10-in. 10/27/1921 April showers Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25692 10-in. 11/4/1921 Ka-lu-a Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25829 10-in. 11/29/1921 Just a little love song Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25830 10-in. 11/29/1921 Ty-tee Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-25967 10-in. 1/18/1922 Play that 'Song of India' again Charles Harrison Male vocal solo, with orchestra arranger  
Victor B-26001 10-in. 12/23/1921 Dear old Southland Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26008 10-in. 1/3/1922 They call it dancing Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with piano duet leader  
Victor B-26009 10-in. 1/3/1922 On the 'Gin 'Gin 'Ginny shore Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26010 10-in. 1/3/1922 Marie Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26051 10-in. 1/25/1922 Cutie Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26052 10-in. 1/25/1922 Lonesome hours Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26085 10-in. 2/10/1922 Jimmy (I love but you) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26092 10-in. 2/14/1922 After the rain Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26093 10-in. 2/14/1922 Bygones Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26213 10-in. 2/23/1922 By the sapphire sea Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26214 10-in. 2/23/1922 Old fashioned girl (In a gingham gown) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26247 10-in. 3/15/1922 Do it again! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26248 10-in. 3/15/1922 You won't be sorry Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26278 10-in. 3/28/1922 Some sunny day Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor B-26282 10-in. 3/30/1922 Stumbling Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26320 10-in. 4/26/1922 Coo-coo Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26321 10-in. 4/26/1922 Georgia Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 51-75 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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