New York-born Thomas "Fats" Waller was an astonishingly inventive stride piano player and one of the great showmen of jazz. In addition to his own enormously successful career, he also worked with such greats as Fletcher Henderson, Jack Teagarden, and Lee Wiley. As Waller gained greater popularity in the 1930s--having already written hits such as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose"--his vocal shtick and outrageous mugging almost overshadowed his instrumental genius. But his skill at the keyboards (he was also a gifted organist) was always in evidence, filling all his work with an infectious exuberance. The popular 1979 Broadway Musical AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' brought his rollicking compositions to a new generation.
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