“Here ’tis, Mama’s Favorite 285 lbs of Jam, Jive and Everything!”ūüé∂

Fats suffer

Fats Waller 

(May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943)

The title sums it up. “Jam, Jive and Everything!.” ¬†Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller is one of the most charming, talented and prolific artists to ever tickle the ivories of a¬†stride piano.

We share a birthday РMay 21st.  His last recording session was in Detroit, Michigan Рhome of my birth. I guess it was destiny that his music and spirit would come to bring me such joy!

What excites me about Fats?

When I was a kid and first saw the groundbreaking musical Stormy Weather (1943) I was familiar with its star Lena Horne because my father loved him some Miss Lena. But for me, the wonderful surprise of the film was Fats Waller.

Fats Waller and Lena Horne

When you see him you’re totally invested. ¬†His personality jumps off the screen. ¬†People talk about presence. ¬†Fats created “presence!”

Fats is credited with advancing the musical style – stride piano. ¬†Although known for his two most famous compositions: ¬†“Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, he penned many more uncredited hits such as “I Can’t Give You Anything but love, Baby” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”.

Waller copyrighted over 400 songs and began his professional career as a pianist at the age of 15, working in cabarets and theaters.

His life and artistry became the Broadway musical revue “Ain’t Misbehavin‘ produced in 1978. ¬†(The show and star Nell Carter won Tony Awards.)

Aintmisbehavin

Recordings of Fats Waller were inducted into the¬†Grammy Hall of Fame¬†which is a special¬†Grammy Award¬†established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have “qualitative or historical significance”.

 

Here ’tis, a tribute to Fats’ brilliance¬†and charm:

 

Fats Waller – Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943)

 

This song cracks me up!

Fats Waller – Your Feet’s Too Big! (1936)

 

Fats Waller – Honeysuckle Rose (1929)

 

Thanks, Fats for the jam, jive, and everything!

Advertisements

“Ain’t Misbehavin” – Fats Waller ūüéĻūüéľ

aintmisbehavinposter

Thomas WrightFatsWaller (May 21, 1904 ‚Äď December 15, 1943)

“Ain’t Misbehavin” is a musical tribute to the incomparable, Fats Waller. It originated at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre on May 9, 1978. The original cast included: Nell Carter, Andr√© DeShields, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, and Charlayne Woodard. It ran for 1604 performances and closed on February 21, 1982. The book was by – ¬†Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., and music by various composers and lyricists as arranged and orchestrated by Luther Henderson. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

On June 12, 1982, NBC broadcast the revue with the original Broadway cast and that’s what this post is about and how I experienced the production, which blew me away! Fats Waller songs are classic and give a jumpin’ snapshot of the 1920’s and 1930’s with the cast so brilliantly bringing his songs to life. His signature song was “Ain’t Misbehavin” which is the opening number for the 1982 production.

Waller was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano, and whose best-known compositions, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999.

aintmisbehavinFats_Waller_edit

“Ain’t Misbehavin” was a feature number in the acclaimed 1943 film “Stormy Weather”.

Some of my favorite songs from the NBC production are: “Ain’t Misbehavin”, “The Joint is Jumpin”, and the hilarious”Your Feet’s too Big”.

There were plenty of awards for the 1978 production of “Ain’t Misbehavin” including:

Drama Desk Award

Award –¬†Outstanding Musical

Won –¬†Outstanding Actor in a MusicalKen Page. Won –Andr√© DeShields

Won –Outstanding Actress in a Musical¬†–Nell Carter.

Theatre World Award

Won –¬†Nell Carter. Won –Armelia McQueen

Tony Award

Won-Best Musical

Won-Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical¬†–Nell Carter.

Won –Best Direction of a Musical¬†–Richard Maltby, Jr.

aintmisbehavinfats_waller-aint_misbehavin_-_the_new_f.w._musical_show

 

 

 

 

 

“Here ’tis, little Fats Waller. Mama’s favorite 285 lbs of jam, jive and everything!”

Fats suffer

  May 21, 1904 РDecember 15, 1943

Title sums it up. “Jam, Jive and Everything!.” ¬†Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller is one of the most charming, talented and prolific artists to ever tickle the ivories of a¬†stride piano.

We share a birthday РMay 21st.  His last recording session was in Detroit, Michigan Рhome of my birth. I guess it was destiny that his music and spirit would come to bring me such joy!

What excites me about Fats?

When I was a kid and first saw the ground breaking musical Stormy Weather (1943) I was familiar with its star Lena Horne because my father loved him some Miss Lena.  But for me, the wonderful surprise of the film was Fats Waller.

Fats Waller and Lena Horne

When you see him you’re totally invested. ¬†His personality jumps off the screen. ¬†People talk about presence. ¬†Fats created “presence!”

Fats is credited with advancing the musical style – stride piano. ¬†Although known for his two most famous compositions: ¬†“Ain’t Misbehavin'” and “Honeysuckle Rose”, he penned many more uncredited hits such as “I Can’t Give you Anything but love, Baby” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street”.

Waller copyrighted over 400 songs and began his professional career as a pianist at the age of 15, working in cabarets and theaters.

His life and artistry became the Broadway musical revue “Ain’t Misbehavin‘ produced in 1978. ¬†(The show and star Nell Carter won Tony Awards.)

Aintmisbehavin

Recordings of Fats Waller were inducted into the¬†Grammy Hall of Fame¬†which is a special¬†Grammy Award¬†established in 1973 to honour recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have “qualitative or historical significance”.

 

Here ’tis, a tribute to Fats’ brilliance¬†and charm:

 

Fats Waller – Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943)

 

This song cracks me up!

Fats Waller – Your Feet’s Too Big! (1936)

 

Fats Waller – Honeysuckle Rose (1929)

 

Thanks Fats for the jam, jive and everything!