Composer Thomas Fats Waller was born in New York City on May 21, 1904. The legendary pianist and conductor learned the organ at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City where his father was Pastor.
Waller began his career as a singer and pianist in night clubs and accompanied in various theatres as an organist. He also accompanied singer Bessie Smith. Leading and recording with his own band, Waller toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
While his chief collaborator was lyricist Andy Razaf, Waller also worked with Stanley Adams, George Marion, Jr. and Clarence Williams.
Primarily a popular song writer, Waller did write scores for Broadway musicals, including Keep Shufflin, Hot Chocolates and Early to Bed. He also composed several instrumental works such as Minor Drag, Harlem Fuss, Handful of Keys, Vipers Drag, St. Louis Shuffle, Numb Fumblin?" and Valentine Stomp.
Highlights from the Waller song catalog include Squeeze Me, My Fate is in Your Hands, Ive Got a Feeling Im Falling, Honeysuckle Rose, Blue Turning Gray Over You, Zonky, Willow Tree, Aint Misbehavin?", Black and Blue, Take it from Me, Concentratin On You, Youre My Ideal, Rollin Down the River, Keepin Out of Mischief Now, The Joint is Jumpin?", Im Crazy Bout My Baby, Theres a Man in My Life and Georgia Bo Bo.
Fats Waller died at the age of 39 in Kansas City, Missouri on December 15, 1943.