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Fats Waller On The Air

The Radio Broadcasts and Discography

Stephen Taylor

Radio and television broadcasts are an essential component in the career of jazz musician Thomas "Fats" Waller. The medium suited his character well, allowing his friendly, energetic personality to shine through. This book meticulously documents Waller's on-air appearances: from his first known broadcast in 1923 at age 19 to the final airing before his premature death in 1943.

Fats Waller On The Air: The Radio Broadcasts and Discography adds another dimension to the life of this dynamic performer. Author Stephen Taylor combines established material with fresh research, resulting in a wealth of new information. The broadcasts, including tributes to Waller after his death, are covered in detail, featuring dates, times, songs played, and other artists who appeared on the program. Through descriptions from contemporary newspapers and magazines, accounts from individuals who were in attendance, and remarks by radio announcers from original transcripts, the book provides historical perspective and a clear sense of the character and feel of the broadcasts. The book also offers a timechart of early sound recording and radio transcriptions, allowing easy comparison of Waller's presence in the field. Never before published photos and a thorough, accurate discography-including 78 and 45 rpm records, transcriptions, LPs, CDs, and DVDs-make this an important reference tool for fans of Fats Waller, jazz music, stride piano, black social history, and broadcast history.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 376Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-0-8108-5656-1 • Hardback • March 2006 • $81.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4617-5242-4 • eBook • March 2006 • $77.00 • (£49.95)
Series: Studies in Jazz
Subjects: Music / Reference
Stephen Taylor is a retired engineer and Fats Waller enthusiast now living in Thailand with his wife and daughter.
Part 1 Foreword
Part 2 Acknowledgments
Part 3 Note to Readers
Part 4 Abbreviations
Part 5 Introduction
Chapter 6 1. Broadcast Listing
Chapter 7 2. Additional Information
Chapter 8 3. Broadcast Tributes and Other Programs
Part 9 Appendixes
Chapter 10 A. A Timechart of Early Sound Recording
Chapter 11 B. Discography
Part 12 Bibliography
Part 13 People and Places Index
Part 14 Tune Title Index
Part 15 About the Author
...the definitive book on Fats Waller's commercial and non-commercial recordings....This work is long overdue and this volume with its library binding will get plenty of use from Waller collectors.
Steve Ramm; In The Groove

...a precise documentation of these many broadcasts, from the first one in 1923, down through the flurry of transcribed appearances during what was to be the last year of his life. The broadcast listings contain a wealth of detail and anecdote revealing much about Waller's prodigious performing, with illuminating details about the times, radio broadcasting, the musicians and the people involved.
Joslin's Jazz Journal

This book is an essential addition to jazz history and a must for any serious research on the subject.
VJM's Jazz and Blues Mart

...a particularly fascinating look at this bygone world...
New York Daily News

...a wonderful book...well put together....this is probably as definitive as it gets.
Jazzbeat, 2006 (vol.18, nos. 2&3)

This book contains descriptions and excerpts of radio and television broadcasts featuring Fats Waller from 1923 to 1943 (the year he died), as well as later tributes and accounts of broadcasts. The listing incorporates dates of the broadcasts and songs played. Also included is a perhaps unparalleled, very extensive discography of all known recordings—about 150 pages—compiled from the author's record collection and other sources; it is annotated and lists record label information, musicians, and format. The indexes are divided between people and places, and tune titles.
Reference and Research Book News, August 2006

It will delight fellow-Waller obsessives and should find its way into libraries where any student of 1930s popular culture will find facts galore, meticulously collated.
Ron Simpson

• Winner, ARSC Awards for Excellence_Best Research in Recorded Jazz Music (Certificate of Merit) 2007