Fats Waller: The Cheerful Little Earful
Fats Waller (1904-1943) was an outsize man in all respects: five feet eleven inches tall, he weighed 285 pounds. He was the greatest of the Harlem stride pianists, he composed hundreds of songs, he led a band which made over 400 recordings and he wrote several Broadway shows. Waller is seen by jazz historians as a man of immense musical talent which was never fulfilled, in the interests of his career as a popular and humorous entertainer. In this fully revised and updated biography of Waller, Alyn Shipton re-examines his career, arguing that his talents as a songwriter, show composer and brilliant recording and broadcasting artist have not been fully appreciated. A new final chapter, provides a comprehensive survey of Waller's recordings as they have been reissued for the CD era.
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Early Life in Harlem
The Musical Theater
The Rhythm and the Big Band
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advertisements African-American Ain't Misbehavin Andy Razaf appeared Armstrong artists audience August Author's interview Avenue bandleader bass Benny Carter big band Bluebird Blues broadcasts Broadway cabaret career Casey Chicago Defender chorus circuit Club Coda composer Connie's dance dancer Danny Barker discs drummer drums Fats played Fats Waller Fats's featured film French RCA Garvin Bushell Gene Sedric Godowsky Hammond Handful of Keys Harlem Harry Dial Herman Autrey Honeysuckle Rose Hot Chocolates Hugues Panassie instrument Jabbo Smith James jazz Johnson Keep Shufflin keyboard Kirkeby Lafayette later London Louis manager March Maurice Waller Melody Maker Mezz musicians orchestra organ organist performance pianist piano rolls piano solos piece players radio recalled recording session rehearsal rent party revue Rhythm saxophonist shouts sidemen singer singing Slick Jones songs sound soundies stage Street stride studio style swing theme took tour tracks trumpet tune vaudeville Vendome vocal week Wright York