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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 76-100 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-26377 10-in. 8/18/1926 Oriental Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band arranger, director  
Victor B-26377 10-in. 5/23/1922 Oriental fox trot Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band arranger, leader  
Victor B-26378 10-in. 5/23/1922 Kamennoi-ostrow Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26390 10-in. 5/31/1922 'Neath the South Sea moon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, violin, leader  
Victor B-26391 10-in. 5/31/1922 It's up to you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26649 10-in. 6/23/1922 Truly Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26650 10-in. 6/23/1922 Hot lips (He's got hot lips when he plays jazz) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26651 10-in. 6/23/1922 My rambler Rose Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26705 10-in. 7/25/1922 Tricks Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26706 10-in. 7/25/1922 Coal black mammy Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26707 10-in. 8/1/1922 I'm just wild about Harry Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26708 10-in. 8/1/1922 Romany love Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-26729 10-in. 8/18/1926 Three o'clock in the morning Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-26729 10-in. 8/21/1922 Three o'clock in the morning Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26730 10-in. 8/21/1922 You remind me of my mother Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26732 10-in. 8/23/1922 Ji-ji-boo Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26733 10-in. 8/23/1922 Chicago Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26748 10-in. 9/1/1922 I'll build a stairway to paradise Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26749 10-in. 9/1/1922 I found a four-leaf clover Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26750 10-in. 9/1/1922 Two little ruby rings Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26789 10-in. 9/21/1922 Carolina in the morning Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26790 10-in. 9/21/1922 Just as long as you have me Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26904 10-in. 9/28/1922 Blowing bubbles all day long Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26905 10-in. 9/28/1922 Homesick Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-26976 10-in. 10/19/1922 The Yankee princess Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 76-100 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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