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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 126-150 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-27611 10-in. 2/21/1923 Way down yonder in New Orleans Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27615 10-in. 2/23/1923 By the Shalimar Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27616 10-in. 2/23/1923 Sweet one Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27625 10-in. 2/27/1923 Crying for you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27626 10-in. 2/27/1923 Burning sands Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27627 10-in. 2/27/1923 Everything is K. O. in K-Y Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27633 10-in. 3/1/1923 Nuthin' but Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-27634 10-in. 3/1/1923 Keep off my shoes Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28529 10-in. 9/4/1923 Last night on the back porch (I loved her best of all) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet leader  
Victor B-28530 10-in. 9/4/1923 Bonnie Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28540 10-in. 9/7/1923 Chansonette Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28541 10-in. 9/7/1923 If I can't get the sweetie I want (I pity the sweetie I get) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28559 10-in. 9/12/1923 What do you do Sunday, Mary? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28580 10-in. 9/20/1923 Cut yourself a piece of cake (And make yourself at home) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet leader  
Victor B-28581 10-in. 9/20/1923 I love you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28594 10-in. 9/26/1923 Sittin' in a corner Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28595 10-in. 9/26/1923 Dancing honeymoon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28600 10-in. 9/24/1923 Wonderful one John McCormack Tenor vocal solo, with celeste and orchestra composer  
Victor B-28711 10-in. 10/3/1923 Little butterfly Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28712 10-in. 10/3/1923 Mamma loves Papa (Papa loves Mamma) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28728 10-in. 10/9/1923 An orange grove in California Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28789 10-in. 10/29/1923 In love with love Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28790 10-in. 10/29/1923 Shake your feet Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28793 10-in. 10/30/1923 Swanee river blues Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28794 10-in. 10/30/1923 Raggedy Ann Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 126-150 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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