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Fats Waller

Fats Waller

"Fats Waller" (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) was an African-American jazz pianist, organist, composer and comedic entertainer. He was born "Thomas Wright Waller" in New York City to a Baptist minister father.

Waller studied classical piano and organ as a child, taught largely by the music director of his Baptist church, who insisted he also learn the organ works of J. S. Bach. As a young adult, Waller apprenticed himself to legendary Harlem stride pianist James P. Johnson. Johnson introduced Waller to the world of rent parties (a party with a piano player, designed to help pay the rent by charging the guests), and soon he developed a performing career.

He was an excellent pianist -- now usually considered one of the very best who ever played in the stride style. Many believe that his songwriting and his lovable, roguish stage personality often overshadowed his playing. Before his solo career, he played with many performers, from Erskine Tate to Bessie Smith, but his greatest success came with his own five- or six-piece combo, "Fats Waller and his Rhythm". Fats Waller was such an impressive and talented pianist that he came to the attention of the rich and...

years active 1926-1943
music genre Stride, Jazz
license: GNU FDL
source: Wikipedia