Laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano with Harlem stride style

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Thomas Waller

Inductee
Born/Died
Inducted

"Fats" Waller wrote Grammy Hall of Fame songs "Ain't Misbehavin" and "Honeysuckle Rose"

Composer Thomas “Fats” Waller was born in New York City on May 21, 1904. The legendary pianist and conductor learned the organ at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City where his father was Pastor.

Waller began his career as a singer and pianist in night clubs and accompanied in various theatres as an organist. He also accompanied singer Bessie Smith. Leading and recording with his own band, Waller toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.

While his chief collaborator was lyricist Andy Razaf, Waller also worked with Stanley Adams, George Marion, Jr. and Clarence Williams.

Primarily a popular song writer, Waller did write scores for Broadway musicals, including Keep Shufflin’, Hot Chocolates and Early to Bed. He also composed several instrumental works such as “Minor Drag”, “Harlem Fuss”, “Handful of Keys”, “Viper’s Drag”, “St. Louis Shuffle”, “Numb Fumblin?" and “Valentine Stomp.”

Highlights from the Waller song catalog include “Squeeze Me”, “My Fate is in Your Hands”, “I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Blue Turning Gray Over You”, “Zonky”, “Willow Tree”, “Ain’t Misbehavin?", “Black and Blue”, “Take it from Me”, “Concentratin’ On You”, “You’re My Ideal”, “Rollin’ Down the River”, “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”, “The Joint is Jumpin?", “I’m Crazy “Bout My Baby”, “There’s a Man in My Life” and “Georgia Bo Bo”.

Fats Waller died at the age of 39 in Kansas City, Missouri on December 15, 1943.

Wrote over 400 works

Links

Acknowledgements

Biography & Discography:

ASCAP Ace Database (www.ascap.com)

Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

Internet Broadway Database (www.ibdb.com)

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (www.grammy.com)

All Music Guide (www.allmusic.com)

ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, 3rd Edition.
Copyright 1966.

Pop Memories: 1890-1954
Whitburn, Joel.
Record Research, Inc. Copyright 1986.

Top Pop Singles:1955-1999
Whitburn, Joel
Record Research, Inc. 1999.


Material and Memorabilia:

All Material provided is courtesy of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Archives.