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May 21, 1904 - December 15, 1943
Fat's Waller performs one of his most famous compositions accompanied by "His Rhythm" in the 1942 Soundie "Honeysuckle Rose."
Master of stride piano, Thomas "Fats" Waller was a prolific composer with a slew of popular hits to his credit that were destined to become standards.
The son of a reverend in Harlem he started on the piano when he was young before moving on to church organ and performing at Lincoln Theater by age fourteen.
Defying his father's wishes, in 1919 Waller turned professional and embarked on what would become an extremely successful career as a song writer and entertainer.
Fats Waller copyrighted over 400 original songs over and is though to have sold many more to music publishers for small sums that remain undocumented.
He made his greatest contribution to Harlem stride with a number of 1929 solo recordings featuring compositions including "Smashing Thirds", "Numb Fumblin'", and "Handful of Keys."
During the 1930s Waller toured Europe to great acclaim and would appear in a number of short subject films, and the full feature "Stormy Weather" shortly before his death from pneumonia in 1943.
"Swing, Sing and All That Jazz"
Free audio streaming of Henry Holloway's award winning radio program
For more 30s Jazz including an archive of Golden Bandstand winner Henry Holloway's radio program "Swing, Sing and All That Jazz" you can stream the program for free - here
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