“Fats” Waller Thomas (1904-1943) signs an autographed music quotation, signed, “Best Wishes Thanks Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller“. Bar of music identified as “Ain’t Misbehavin! No! No!!”.
Waller went to DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, in 1917 after one year because he felt he was wasting his time. “There isn’t any rhythm in algebra” he complained. His father was a well-known violinist, so Thomas was allowed to leave Clinton to get a job for piano lessons. He was only 17 when he pressed his first records and made his first piano rolls, and at 19 he initiated his first radio broadcasts. In 1929, Waller wrote the score for the Broadway hit Hot Chocolates. His most famous song “Ain’t Misbehavin’” was introduced in the show, which featured Louis Armstrong. Waller was only 39 when he died of pneumonia.
Two unrelated autographs, dated 1939 on reverse (no show through). Irregular left and top edge. Lightly shaded at margins. Light diagonal stain touches the top of the “T” in Thomas.
Overall, fine condition. 1p, 6×8¼
- About Ain’t Misbehavin’ (vividseats.com)
- Florence Mills, Harlem’s Sweet Little Blackbird (harlemworldmag.com)