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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 176-200 of 859 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-29756 10-in. 3/31/1924 There's yes! yes! in your eyes Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29778 10-in. 4/8/1924 Pale moon Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29779 10-in. 4/8/1924 It had to be you Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29932 10-in. 4/24/1924 Mr. Radio Man (Tell my mammy to come back home) Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29933 10-in. 4/24/1924 Spain Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor B-29956 10-in. 5/2/1924 The hoodoo man Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor C-29957 12-in. 5/2/1924 Where is that old girl of mine? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader, instrumentalist, violin  
Victor C-29958 12-in. 5/2/1924 Mandalay Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, violin, leader  
Victor B-29982 10-in. 5/9/1924 Paradise Alley Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet leader  
Victor B-29983 10-in. 5/9/1924 Where the rainbow ends Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-30172 10-in. 1/12/1928 San Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-30172 10-in. 6/9/1924 San Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor CVE-30173 12-in. 4/21/1927 Rhapsody in blue George Gershwin ; Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra and piano soloist leader  
Victor C-30173 12-in. 6/10/1924 Rhapsody in blue George Gershwin ; Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra leader  
Victor C-30174 12-in. 6/10/1924 Rhapsody in blue George Gershwin ; Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra and piano soloist leader  
Victor B-30175 10-in. 6/11/1924 I can't get the one I want Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-30176 10-in. 9/8/1926 Thaïs : Meditation Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-30176 10-in. 6/11/1924 Thaïs : Meditation Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor BVE-30177 10-in. 9/8/1926 By the waters of Minnetonka Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band director  
Victor B-30177 10-in. 6/11/1924 By the waters of Minnetonka Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Victor CVE-30180 12-in. 3/2/1928 A suite of serenades Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra director  
Victor C-30180 12-in. 6/12/1924 A suite of serenades Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra leader  
Victor C-30181 12-in. 6/12/1924 A suite of serenades Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra leader  
Victor CVE-30181 12-in. 3/1/1928 A suite of serenades Paul Whiteman Concert Orchestra Orchestra director  
Victor B-30187 10-in. 6/13/1924 The song of songs Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
(Results 176-200 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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