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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 101-125 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-26977 10-in. 10/19/1922 Sweetheart Lane Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27102 10-in. 10/27/1922 The lonely nest Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27111 10-in. 11/2/1922 Pack up your sins Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27112 10-in. 11/2/1922 Crinoline days Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, violin, leader  
Victor B-27153 10-in. 11/15/1922 Journey's end Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27154 10-in. 11/15/1922 When hearts are young Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, violin, leader  
Victor B-27177 10-in. 11/23/1922 Until my luck comes rolling along Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27178 10-in. 11/23/1922 Just like a doll Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27236 10-in. 12/15/1922 Ivy (Cling to me) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27237 10-in. 12/15/1922 I gave you up just before you threw me down Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27267 10-in. 12/28/1922 Without you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor B-27268 10-in. 12/28/1922 Parade of the wooden soldiers Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor BVE-27268 10-in. 1/11/1928 Parade of the wooden soldiers Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-27277 10-in. 1/2/1923 Mister Gallagher and Mister Shean Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with monologue leader  
Victor B-27411 10-in. 1/18/1923 Fate Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, violin, leader  
Victor B-27412 10-in. 1/18/1923 The pale Venetian moon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27430 10-in. 1/25/1923 Lady of the evening Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-27431 10-in. 8/26/1926 Underneath the mellow moon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-27431 10-in. 1/25/1923 Underneath the mellow moon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-27432 10-in. 8/26/1926 Wonderful one Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer, director  
Victor B-27432 10-in. 1/25/1923 Wonderful one Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, composer  
Victor B-27449 10-in. 2/2/1923 Dearest (You're the nearest to my heart) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27450 10-in. 2/2/1923 Falling Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27451 10-in. 2/2/1923 That American boy of mine Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27610 10-in. 2/21/1923 Bambalina Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 101-125 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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