Pianist, composer, Fats Waller
birth name: Thomas Wright Waller

Fats Waller

May 21, 1904, New York, NY ~ December 15, 1943, Kansas City, MO

According to one anecdote, one night in 1926 after finishing a performance, he was kidnapped by gangsters and forced to play at Al Capone's birthday party. ~ All about Jazz: Fats Waller ~ retrieved December 5, 2013 © All About Jazz

Continued right after these…

Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

May 21, 1977 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) Climax Blues Band, Couldn't Get It Right ~ #2 (1) Leo Sayer, When I Need You ~ #1 (2) Stevie Wonder, Sir Duke


Not only was Fats Waller one of the greatest pianists jazz has ever known, he was also one of its most exuberantly funny entertainers - and as so often happens, one facet tends to obscure the other. His extraordinarily light and flexible touch belied his ample physical girth; he could swing as hard as any pianist alive or dead in his classic James P. Johnson-derived stride manner, with a powerful left hand delivering the octaves and tenths in a tireless, rapid, seamless stream. Waller also pioneered the use of the pipe organ and Hammond organ in jazz - he called the pipe organ the “God box” - adapting his irresistible sense of swing to the pedals and a staccato right hand while making imaginative changes of the registration. As a composer and improviser, his melodic invention rarely flagged, and he contributed fistfuls of joyous yet paradoxically winsome songs like Honeysuckle Rose, Ain't Misbehavin, Keepin' Out of Mischief Now, Blue Turning Grey Over You and the extraordinary Jitterbug Waltz to the jazz repertoire. ~ Allmusic: Fats Waller ~ retrieved December 13, 2013 © Allmusic

Fats Waller ~ Awarded a 1993 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Fats Waller ~ Ain't Misbehavin' ~ Ranked #41 RIAA Top 365 Songs Of The Century in 2001.

All text snippets containing a hyperlink copyrighted by the original website.
Views expressed by musicians, music critics or journalists do not necessarily represent ours.
concept & design © 2021 Make Today Rock