Fats Waller

The History of Piano Music and American Culture

Episode 2

Episode date - March 11, 2011

How Music Changed

    The second part of our series dedicated to the development of piano music and its influence on the stylistic development of popular music finds us covering one of the most seminal figures of jazz.

    Fats Waller didn’t invent anything new, and it could be argued that there were a few people who could outplay him (although not many), but the genius of Fats Waller rested in his songwriting prowess, coupled with his ebullient personality. Fats knew how to put a song over, and it was his recordings that helped to make the Harlem variety of jazz music something that all of popular culture could appreciate. Fats was the link that took the jazz stylings of New Orleans and Chicago, and made them instantly palatable to anybody with ears.

    Here’s a tracklist of songs featured in today’s program, all featuring Fats Waller;


    Numb Fumblin’

    Smashin’ Thirds

    How Can You Face Me?

    Carolina Shout

    I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

    Christopher Columbus

    Loungin’ at the Waldorf

    The Joint Is Jumpin’


    All That Meat and No Potatoes

    Bessie, Bessie, Bessie

    The Jitterbug Waltz

    Ain’t Misbehavin’

    Channel 15 - The History of Piano Music and American Culture