Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fats Waller


I have picked up so many Fats Waller CD's and LP's over the years and they are all fantastic. He really could have a whole blog to himself he was so prolific. Lots still available on cheap compilations so go out and find them.

"Thomas "Fats" Waller is one of the more important of the modern pianist-composers. Born in New York on May 21, 1904, the son of a minister, "Fats" played the organ and sang in the choir of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where his father preached until he was fifteen years old. Shortly after, the lure of the stage beckoned him to the interesting field of the Harlem cabaret, and he remained in that gay section of the city until 1924, occasionally doubling as a theatre organist and as a. piano-roll artist for the Q-R-S Company.

Some of "Fats' " other accomplishments include vaudeville appearances with the famous blues singer, Bessie Smith, soon after which he wrote the music to the show "Keep Shufflin'". In 1930, he composed the score for "Hot Chocolates," the hit song of which was "Ain't Misbehavin," and when this production closed, he subsequently appeared in leading supper clubs in London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna.

In 1932, he joined the artist staff of WLW at Cincinnati, where he instituted the famous "Fats" Waller Rhythm Club, which created millions of Waller fans throughout the country.

Mr. Waller is currently considered Victor's best record seller. He has been a feature in RKO films and at the time of this writing is in Hollywood for the filming of "King of Burlesque," a 20th Century--Fox production in which he will have an important role.

"Fats" is generally known as "Radio's Harmful Little Armful," and for many years studied under Godowsky in Vienna and Carl Bohn in New York."


Discover more about Fats Waller HERE.


Fats Waller - Abercrombie Had A Zombie

Fats Waller - Mamacita

Fats Waller - "Send Me" Jackson


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2 comments:

Gloria said...

I first came to knoe about Waller from a vinyl recording of the Waller-homage "Ain't Misbehavin'" show... which inevitably led me to purchase some actual Waller recordings.

He was an incredibly talented musician -and prodigal about his talent, too-, but I just love the sense of humour he puts in his own playing and singing... The contagious vitality of his music that makes you fall in love with it.

michael said...

Thanks gloria. Yes, an amazing pianist and very funny. Very diverse to like that weird organ music he played is very atmostpheric especially in the film "Erazerhead" by David Lynch.