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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 151-175 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-28978 10-in. 11/22/1923 Linger awhile Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-28979 10-in. 11/22/1923 Roamin' to Wyomin' Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29109 10-in. 12/6/1923 I'm sitting pretty in a pretty little city Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29110 10-in. 12/6/1923 Arcady Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29130 10-in. 12/14/1923 Steppin' out Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29131 10-in. 12/14/1923 I'm goin' South Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29160 10-in. 12/27/1923 Shanghai lullaby Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29161 10-in. 12/27/1923 Along the old lake trail Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29182 10-in. 1/4/1924 Someone loves you after all Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29183 10-in. 1/4/1924 The one I love (Belongs to somebody else) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29303 10-in. 1/11/1924 So this is Venice! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and accordion leader  
Victor B-29304 10-in. 1/11/1924 Learn to do the strut Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29334 10-in. 1/22/1924 California, here I come Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29335 10-in. 1/22/1924 Limehouse blues Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29375 10-in. 2/1/1924 Why did I kiss that girl? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet leader  
Victor B-29376 10-in. 2/1/1924 Don't mind the rain Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor B-29530 10-in. 2/19/1924 Mona Vanna Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29531 10-in. 2/19/1924 Home in Pasadena Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29532 10-in. 2/20/1924 Wonderful one Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with saxophone and piano composer  
Victor BVE-29532 10-in. 1/4/1926 Wonderful one Henry Burr Male vocal solo, with piano and saxophone composer  
Victor B-29542 10-in. 2/25/1924 Maybe (She'll write me, she'll phone me) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29543 10-in. 2/25/1924 Ain't you ashamed! Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29599 10-in. 3/11/1924 What'll I do Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29700 10-in. 3/11/1924 Lazy Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29755 10-in. 3/31/1924 Love has a way Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 151-175 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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