• Paul S. Machlin


In 1932 Waller began broadcasting regularly for station WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio. He continued his activity at the station for almost two years, but apparently made no recordings during that time.1 Thereafter, he returned to New York and signed an exclusive recording contract with Victor, an agreement that turned out to have unforeseen consequences for him. For the first time in his career, Waller gained a steady income and regular recording dates. And for its part, by adding an already well-established musician and entertainer to its roster, Victor was assured of continued profits from its investment. But the company’s producers no longer sought to record Waller as a jazz pianist, as they had in the late 1920s; instead, in order to capitalize on Waller’s success as a popular entertainer, they chose a repertoire for him to record that consisted almost entirely of commercial Tin Pan Alley ditties. Thus the pianist’s business relationship with the company resulted in an important change in the music he played and recorded at this juncture in his career.


Rhythmic Pattern Measure Phrase Slow Tempo Half Step Funny Business 
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Liner notes for LP discs

  1. Cooke, Roy, and Cangardel, Pierre-Frangois; with Laverdure, Michel (for the “Memorial” and “Memorial no. 2” Boxed Sets), and Nevers, Daniel (for the “Fats Plus” volume). Notes to French RCA “Complete Recordings” of Fats Waller (Black and White series): “Memorial” and “Memorial no. 2” Boxed Sets and 26 individual LP discs (see discography).Google Scholar
  2. Francis, Harry. Notes to “Fats Waller in London.” World Records Limited (EMI), SHB 29.Google Scholar
  3. Lipskin, Mike. Notes to “Fats Waller Piano Solos, 1929-1941.” Bluebird (RCA) AXM2-5518. Produced by Frank Driggs. N.B.: inaccurate matrix numbers are cited in the discography for this album for “Numb Fumblin’, ” “Smashing Thirds, ” and “My Fate Is in Your Hands. ”Google Scholar
  4. McDonough, John. Notes to “The Fats Waller Story.” Radiola 2MR-112113.Google Scholar
  5. Montgomery, Michael. Notes to “Thomas (Fats) Waller: Parlor Piano Solos from Rare Piano Rolls.” Biograph BLP1002Q (vol. 1, 1923-1924), BLP1005Q (vol. 2, 1924-1931), BLP 1015Q (vol. 3).Google Scholar
  6. Morgenstem, Dan. Notes to “‘Oh Mercy! Looka’ Here/ Fats Waller, His Piano, His Rhythm–1935 & 1939.” Honeysuckle Rose Records HR 5000-1, 5000-2, 5000-3. N.B.: the record number on the cover of this boxed set differs from the numbers printed on the labels of the discs themselves, cited above. The number on the cover is Honeysuckle Rose 5001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© G.K. Hall & Co. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul S. Machlin
    • 1
  1. 1.Colby CollegeUSA

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