A discussion on internet (78-list) brings good old Fats Waller back in spotlight. Most visitors of the list adore him - some name him an overrated pianist and dislike his ugly and unjazzy voice.
In my 20s I was a great fan of his music and the way he performed in his shows and concerts. I collected all his records ( RCA Black and White series) and as I didn't had much money to spend, collecting was for me gathering these LPs on my reel-to-reel recorder.
Some years ago, Julian, I found the two RCA Fats Waller Memorial boxes ( in the 1970s the boxes were much to expensive for me) and I was tempted to buy it although I had all the music on tape already.
I remember the first time that I saw the four Fats Waller soundies.
That was an exiting experience for a young adult.
It must have been at the Cineac in Rotterdam (a movie-theatre) and it was billed as Ain't Misbehavin'
I don't remember details of that film, but it was a clumsy compilation exploiting current attitudes to nostalgia and sex, utilising clips from features, shorts and newsreels ( from Jazz In The Movies - David Meeker). It contained the Waller clips and some more entertainers. I remember especially the sex scenes as it did fascinate me as a young adult and so the music of Fats Waller got an extra dimension for me !!
AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (1974)
UK 1974 – f dir Peter Neal, Anthony Stern
Songs: (recorded): "Honeysuckle Rose" byAndy Razaf, Fats Waller, "Ain’t misbehavin’"by Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Harry Brooks,performed by Fats Waller; "Ain’t gonna beyour dog" performed by Meade Lux Lewis;"Cabaret echoes" performed by AnthonyParenti’s Famous Melody Boys; "I’m a shyguy" by and performed by Nat King Cole; "Boogie Woogie" performed by Albert Ammons; "Please be kind" by Sammy Cahn, SaulChaplin, "The man I love" by Ira and GeorgeGershwin, performed by Django Reinhardt; "Londonola" performed by Roy Fox and hisOrchestra.
(Source: Jazz In The Movies - David Meeker)
Enjoy the short film Ain't Misbehavion' by clicking on the title bar;
Fats Waller (p,vcl) with: John Hamilton (tp) Gene Sedric (cl,ts) Al Casey (g) Cedric Wallace (b) Slick Jones (d)
Recorded RCA studios, New York City, September 26, 1941
4607 Ain't misbehavin'
Source: "Fats In Fact" by Laurie Wright. In my opinion the best biographical discography of Fats Waller - a must for all Waller fans.