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description: Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an influential American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride st ...
Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an influential American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano, and whose best-known compositions, "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose", were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.[1]

01 Shortnin' Bread 《100 Ans De Jazz》53
02 Then I'Ll Be Tired Of ..《At The Piano ..》77
03 I'M Gonna Sit Right D..《If You Got To..》3,248
04 Mandy (From The Gol..《At The Piano ..》68
05 A Porter'S Love Song..《At The Piano ..》6
06 A Good Man Is Hard ..《If You Got To..》16
07 All That Meat And No ..《If You Got To..》15
08 I Ain'T Got Nobody (A..《Fats Waller: V..》17
09 You'Re Lettin' The Gra.. 《Rca Victor - 8..》12
10 Everybody Loves My .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》14
11 Buck Jumpin' 《100 Ans De Jazz》5
12 Swing Out To Victory 《100 Ans De Jazz》19
13 I Wanna Hear Swing .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》9
14 Don'T Give Me That Ji.. 《100 Ans De Jazz》8
15 My Melancholy Baby 《100 Ans De Jazz》9
16 By The Light Of The .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》25
17 Pan-Pan 《100 Ans De Jazz》7
18 Scram! 《100 Ans De Jazz》10
19 Chant Of The Groove 《100 Ans De Jazz》5
20 Fats Waller'S Original .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》13
21 Hey! Stop Kissin' My .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》59
22 Sad Sap Sucker Am I 《100 Ans De Jazz》61
23 My Mommie Sent Me .. 《100 Ans De Jazz》14
24 Abercrombie Had A Z.. 《100 Ans De Jazz》8
25 Twenty-Four Robbers 《100 Ans De Jazz》21

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Early life

Thomas Wright Waller was the youngest of 11 children (five survived childhood) born to Adeline Locket Waller and Reverend Edward Martin Waller in New York City. He started playing the piano when he was six and graduated to the organ of his father's church four years later. His mother instructed him as a youth. At the age of 14 he was playing the organ at Harlem's Lincoln Theater and within 12 months he had composed his first rag. Waller's first piano solos ("Muscle Shoals Blues" and "Birmingham Blues") were recorded in October 1922 when he was 18 years old.

He was the prize pupil, and later friend and colleague, of stride pianist James P. Johnson.

Overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, Waller became a professional pianist at 15, working in cabarets and theaters.[citation needed] In 1918 he won a talent contest playing Johnson's "Carolina Shout", a song he learned from watching a player piano play it.[citation needed]

Waller ultimately became one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe. He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as "Honeysuckle Rose", "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Squeeze Me". Fellow pianist and composer Oscar Levant dubbed Waller "the black Horowitz".[2] Waller is believed to have composed many novelty tunes in the 1920s and 1930s and sold them for relatively small sums,[3] the attributions of which, on becoming widely known, went only to a later composer and lyricist.[citation needed]

Standards alternatively and sometimes controversially attributed to Waller include "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby". Biographer Barry Singer conjectured that this jazz classic was written by Waller and lyricist Andy Razaf, and provides a description of the sale given by Waller to the NY Post in 1929—for $500, to a white songwriter, ultimately for use in a financially successful show (consistent with Jimmy McHugh's contributions first to Harry Delmar’s Revels, 1927, and then to Blackbirds, 1928).[3][4] He further supports the conjecture, noting that early handwritten manuscripts in the Dana Library Institute of Jazz Studies of “Spreadin’ Rhythm Around” (Jimmy McHugh ©1935) are in Waller's hand; anecdotally, there is an account that when near death from cancer in the early 1970s, Razaf whispered the favorite of all his lyrics as being the chorus of "I Can’t Give You Anything But Love".[3][5] Jazz historian P.S. Machlin comments that the Singer conjecture has "considerable [historical] justification".[6] Waller's son Maurice wrote in his 1977 biography of his father that Waller had once complained on hearing the song, and came from upstairs to admonish him never to play it in his hearing because he'd had to sell it when he needed money.[citation needed] Maurice Waller's biography similarly notes his father's objections to hearing "On the Sunny Side of the Street" playing on the radio.[7] Waller recorded "I Can't Give You…" in 1938, playing the tune but making fun of the lyrics; the recording was with Adelaide Hall who had introduced the song to the world at Les Ambassadeurs Club in New York in 1928.[8]

The anonymous sleeve notes on the 1960 RCA Victor album Handful of Keys state that Waller copyrighted over 400 new songs, many of which co-written with his closest collaborator Andy Razaf. Razaf described his partner as "the soul of melody... a man who made the piano sing... both big in body and in mind... known for his generosity... a bubbling bundle of joy".[citation needed] Gene Sedric, a clarinetist who played with Waller on some of his 1930s recordings, is quoted in these same sleeve notes recalling Waller's recording technique with considerable admiration: "Fats was the most relaxed man I ever saw in a studio, and so he made everybody else relaxed. After a balance had been taken, we'd just need one take to make a side, unless it was a kind of difficult number."
You Got Everything A Sweet Mama Needs But Me
You Got Everything A Sweet Mama Needs But Me, sung by Sara Martin with piano accompaniment by Fats Waller in 1922.
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'tain't Nobody's Bus'ness If I Do
'tain't Nobody's Bus'ness If I Do, sung by Sara Martin with piano accompaniment by Fats Waller in 1922.
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Waller played with many performers, from Nat Shilkret (on Victor 21298-A) and Gene Austin, to Erskine Tate, Fletcher Henderson, McKinney's Cotton Pickers and Adelaide Hall, but his greatest success came with his own five- or six-piece combo, "Fats Waller and his Rhythm".

His playing once put him at risk of injury. Waller was kidnapped in Chicago leaving a performance in 1926. Four men bundled him into a car and took him to the Hawthorne Inn, owned by Al Capone. Waller was ordered inside the building, and found a party in full swing. Gun to his back, he was pushed towards a piano, and told to play. A terrified Waller realized he was the "surprise guest" at Capone's birthday party, and took comfort that the gangsters did not intend to kill him. It is rumored that Waller stayed at the Hawthorne Inn for three days and left very drunk, extremely tired, and had earned thousands of dollars in cash from Capone and other party-goers as tips.[9]

In 1926, Waller began his recording association with Victor Records, his principal record company for the rest of his life, with the organ solos "St. Louis Blues" and his own composition, "Lenox Avenue Blues". Although he recorded with various groups, including Morris's Hot Babes (1927), Fats Waller's Buddies (1929) (one of the earliest interracial groups to record), and McKinney's Cotton Pickers (1929), his most important contribution to the Harlem stride piano tradition was a series of solo recordings of his own compositions: "Handful of Keys", "Smashing Thirds", "Numb Fumblin'", and "Valentine Stomp" (1929). After sessions with Ted Lewis (1931), Jack Teagarden (1931) and Billy Banks' Rhythmakers (1932), he began in May 1934 the voluminous series of recordings with a small band known as Fats Waller and his Rhythm. This six-piece group usually included Herman Autrey (sometimes replaced by Bill Coleman or John "Bugs" Hamilton), Gene Sedric or Rudy Powell, and Al Casey.

Waller wrote "Squeeze Me" (1919), "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now", "Ain't Misbehavin'" (1929), "Blue Turning Grey Over You", "I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling" (1929), "Honeysuckle Rose" (1929) and "Jitterbug Waltz" (1942). He collaborated with the Tin Pan Alley lyricist Andy Razaf. He composed stride piano display pieces such as "Handful of Keys", "Valentine Stomp" and "Viper's Drag".[citation needed]

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s. He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts. While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI on their Compton Theatre organ located in their Abbey Road Studios in St John's Wood. He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather in 1943, which was released July 21, just months before his death. For the hit Broadway show Hot Chocolates, he and Razaf wrote "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue" (1929), which became a hit for Ethel Waters and Louis Armstrong.

Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion. Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, "Ain't Misbehavin'"). In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records. These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were performed on a full-sized church organ.

Waller contracted pneumonia and died on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, on December 15, 1943. His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan, that included white trumpeter Don Hirleman. Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill.[10] Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board.[citation needed] More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem, which prompted Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who delivered the eulogy, to say that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”[11] Afterwards he was cremated and his ashes were scattered, from an airplane piloted by an unidentified World War I black aviator, over Harlem.[12]
Revival and awards

A Broadway musical revue showcasing Waller tunes entitled Ain't Misbehavin' was produced in 1978. (The show and a star of the show, Nell Carter, won Tony Awards.) The show opened at the Longacre Theatre and ran for more than 1600 performances. It was revived on Broadway in 1988. Performed by five African-American actors, the show included such songs as "Honeysuckle Rose", "This Joint Is Jumpin'", and "Ain't Misbehavin'".
Year Inducted     Title
2008     Gennett Records Walk of Fame
2005     Jazz at Lincoln Center: Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame
1993     Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
1989     Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame
1970     Songwriters Hall of Fame

Recordings of Fats Waller were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame which is a special Grammy Award established in 1973 to honour recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance".
Grammy Hall of Fame Awards[13]
Year Recorded     Title     Genre     Label     Year Inducted     Notes
1934     "Honeysuckle Rose"     Jazz (Single)     Victor     1998     —
1929     "Ain't Misbehavin'"     Jazz (Single)     Victor     1984     Listed in the National Recording Registry
by the Library of Congress in 2004.

Probably the most talented pianist to keep the music of "Fats" Waller alive in the years after his death was Ralph Sutton, who focused his career on playing stride piano. Sutton was a great admirer of Waller, saying "I've never heard a piano man swing any better than Fats - or swing a band better than he could. I never get tired of him. Fats has been with me from the first, and he'll be with me as long as I live."[14]

Actor and band leader Conrad Janis also did a lot to keep the stride piano music of "Fats" Waller and James P. Johnson alive. In 1949, as an 18-year-old, Janis put together a band of aging jazz greats, consisting of James P. Johnson (piano), Henry Goodwin (trumpet), Edmond Hall (clarinet), Pops Foster (bass) and Baby Dodds (drums), with Janis on trombone.[15]
In popular culture

    Subject of the Irish poet Michael Longley's "Elegy for Fats Waller".[16]
    Robert Pinsky's poem, "History of My Heart," opens with Waller walking into the 34th St. Macy's at Christmastime
    He was caricatured in several Warner Brothers animated shorts, most notably Tin Pan Alley Cats.
    In the 2008 film Be Kind Rewind, Fats Waller was a major theme and influence for the storyline.
    Italian comics book artist Igort published a comic book about Waller entitled Fats Waller on Coconino Press in 2009.
    Some of Waller's music ("Jitterbug Waltz") is used in the video game series BioShock.
    Waller's version of "Louisiana Fairytale" was used for many years as the theme song to This Old House.[17]
    Waller's church organ music featured prominently in David Lynch's breakthrough film Eraserhead in 1977. [18]

Key recordings

Title     Recording Date     Recording Location     Company
"African Ripples"     11-16-34     New York, New York     Victor 24830 (reissued Bluebird B-10115)
"After You've Gone"     3-21-1930     New York, New York     Victor 22371-B
"A Handful Of Keys"     3-1-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor V-38508
Ain't Misbehavin'     8-2-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor 22092, 22108
"All God's Chillun Got Wings"     8-28-1938     London, England     Victor 27460
"Alligator Crawl"     11-16-1934     New York, New York     Victor 24830 (reissued Bluebird B-10098)
"Baby Brown"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     (only issued on LP)
"Baby, Oh! Where Can You Be?"     8-29-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor rejected, issued on LPV-550
"Basin Street Blues"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     Bluebird B-10115
"Because Of Once Upon a Time"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     RFW
"Believe It, Beloved"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     HMV
"Birmingham Blues"     10-21-1922     New York, New York     Okeh 4757-B
"Blue Black Bottom"     2-16-1927     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Blue Turning Gray Over You"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     HMV
"California, Here I Come"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     HMV
"Carolina Shout"     5-13-1941     New York, New York     Victor
"Clothes Line Ballet"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     Victor 25015
"I Can't Give You Anything but Love" (vocals by Adelaide Hall)     8-28-1938     London, England     HMV B8849
"Deep River"     8-28-1938     London, England     Victor 27459
"Goin' About"     9-11-1929     New York, New York     Victor
"Gladyse"     8-2-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Go Down, Moses"     8-28-1938     London, England     Victor 27458
"Honeysuckle Rose"     1934     New York, New York     HMV
"I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby"     1931     New York, New York     HMV
"I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling"     8-2-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Jitterbug Waltz"     16-3-1942     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Keeping Out Of Mischief Now"     6-11-1937     New York, New York     Bluebird 10099
"Lennox Avenue Blues"     11-17-1926     Camden, New Jersey     Victor 20357-B
"Lonesome Road"     8-28-1938     London, England     Victor 27459
"Minor Drag"     3-1-1929     New York, New York     Victor
"Messin' Around With The Blues Blues"     1-14-1927     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"My Fate Is In Your Hands"     12-4-1929     New York, New York     Victor
"My Feelin's Are Hurt"     12-4-1929     New York, New York     Victor
"Numb Fumblin'"     3-1-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Russian Fantasy"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     HMV
"Soothin' Syrup Stomp"     1-14-1927     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Sloppy Water Blues"     1-14-1927     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Smashing Thirds"     9-24-1929     New York, New York     Victor
"Sweet Savannah Sue"     8-2-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"The Rusty Pail"     1-14-1927     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"That's All"     8-29-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor 23260
"Valentine Stomp"     8-2-1929     Camden, New Jersey     Victor
"Viper's Drag"     11-16-1934     New York, New York     HMV
"Zonky"     3-11-1935     New York, New York     HMV

Title     Director     Year
King of Burlesque     Sidney Lanfield     1936
Hooray for Love     Walter Lang     1935
Stormy Weather     Andrew L. Stone     1943

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