By Alyn Shipton
Fat Waller (1904-1943) used to be an outsize guy in all respects: 5 ft 11 inches tall, he weighed 285 kilos. He was once the best of the Harlem "stride" pianists, he composed thousands of songs, he led a band which revamped four hundred recordings and he wrote a number of Broadway indicates. Waller is visible by way of jazz historians as a guy of substantial musical expertise which was once by no means fulfilled, within the pursuits of his profession as a favored and funny entertainer. during this totally revised and up-to-date biography of Waller, Alyn Shipton re-examines his profession, arguing that his skills as a songwriter, convey composer and fantastic recording and broadcasting artist haven't been totally preferred. a brand new ultimate bankruptcy, presents a finished survey of Waller's recordings as they've been reissued for the CD period.
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Extra resources for Fats Waller: The Cheerful Little Earful
Fats's stage director for both revues was Leonard Harper, with whom he was later to work on the shows written for Connie's Inn, and for whom Waller played in a production called Creole Follies, in July 1926. Harper (like the other directors of the shows at the Lafayette) would have been responsible, together with the manager Schiffman, for deciding on the final form of the revues, and for the changes that took place during the run. Schiffman developed his instincts for what would go over well with an African-American audience into a fine art.
Pantages. Keith. Like the same circuit that the Modern Cocktail played. Neither of those acts ever played the black circuit at all. Liza and the Shufflin' Sextet was the same thing. Fats wasn't a composer then. Fats hadn't composed anything THE M U S I C A L T H E A T E R • 29 then. He was not seen opening his mouth. He drank as much, but he didn't sing. We didn't know he could sing. We would have had him singing. He was just playing a whole lot of piano. 3 Tucker went on to ask Garvin about the social life of the band.
29 And while Harry's views must be taken as a combination of hearsay and his experiences from the 1930s, when he arrived in New York, he gives a vivid picture of the group of songwriters in whose company Fats lived and worked. The social environment in which Waller found himself in the early and mid-1920s was effectively a complete cross-section of New York life. At one level, he was working in the Harlem after-hours clubs and even in the whorehouses. ") He was playing the theater organ for fun, the church organ for spiritual and physical relaxation.