Fats Waller

Genres: Big Band & Swing Blues Horror Movies Jazz Jazz Music & Radio Books Musicals & The Arts R&B / Soul
Tags: jazz swing piano jazz piano blues Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: allmusic BBC Music page biography discogs IMDb other databases secondhandsongs VIAF wikidata wikipedia


Thomas Wright Waller, 21 May 1904, Waverley, New York, USA, d. 15 December 1943, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Influenced by his grandfather, a violinist, and his mother, Waller was playing piano at students’ concerts and organ in his father’s church by the time he was 10 years old. In 1918, while still in high school, he was asked to fill in for the regular organist at the Lincoln Theatre, and subsequently gained a permanent seat at the Wurlitzer Grand. A year later he won a talent contest, playing ragtime pianist James P. Johnson’s ‘Carolina Shout’. While a protégé of Johnson’s, Waller adopted the Harlem stride style of piano playing, ‘the swinging left hand’, emphasizing tenths on the bass, to which Waller added his own distinctive touch.

In 1919, while on tour as a vaudeville pianist, Waller composed ‘Boston Blues’ which, when the title was later changed to ‘Squeeze...

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