Thomas Wright « Fats » Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943) 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.


Thomas Wright Waller was the youngest of 11 children (five survived childhood) born to Adeline Locket Waller and Reverend Edward Martin Waller in New York City.
He started playing the piano when he was six and graduated to the organ of his father’s church four years later.
His mother instructed him as a youth. At the age of 14 he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater and within 12 months he had composed his first rag. Waller’s first piano solos (« Muscle Shoals Blues » and « Birmingham Blues ») were recorded in October 1922…

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