Fats Waller

Fats Waller, a vibrant entertainer and a master of the stride piano, was highly popular as both a songwriter and a performer. AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, a revue of his songs, triggered a major revival of his music when it arrived on Broadway in 1978 and has become a staple of regional theatres across the country.

Fats and J.C. met in the 1920s and became great friends and collaborators. J.C. would often accompany Fats on all night jam sessions at Small’s Paradise and other clubs, always remaining quietly in the background while Fats took center stage.

In 1927 they wrote their first song together, I’M GOIN’ HUNTING, performed by Louis Armstrong and his band. Many others followed, including YACHT CLUB SWING, HOW YA BABY, WHAT’S YOUR NAME, HOLD MY HAND and THE SPIDER AND THE FLY (the last three of which appear in TRAV’LIN). Fats also recorded a number of J.C.’s songs written with others, most notably BELIEVE IT BELOVED, RHYTHM AND ROMANCE and YOU CAN”T DO WHAT MY LAST MAN DID.

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