Try as I might I cannot connect Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller to a Basset Hound, but here is a picture of him with his bulldog, ‘Belulah’, a gift from his fans, taken in London in 1939.
So what is ‘Fats’ doing on a Basset Hound web site? Well firstly I think he's great and beside that, Roy Drew’s reference to big feet in his poem on ‘the arrival of a puppy called, Josie’ , inevitably brought Fats’ song to into my head.
Unfortunately he doesn’t introduce enough feet for the song to be an ode to a basset and a rewrite to ‘Your feet’s too big, your so adorable, cos’ your feet's too big’ doesn’t really fit with the rest of the song.
‘Your feet’s too big’ is one of Thomas Waller’s many novelty numbers. There was however a great deal more to him. He wrote many songs now regarded as ‘standards’, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter, After you’ve gone and more. Some written with lyricist Andy Razaf. He became a professional pianist aged just fifteen and is regarded as a pioneer of modern jazz piano.
It is reported that ‘Fats’ was once kidnapped and forced at gunpoint to play at Al Capone’s birthday party. Reputedly he left four days later very drunk with thousands of dollars in tips from the guests.
Thomas Waller died in 1943 aged 39.
For more information on ‘Fats’ Waller try fatswaller.org
As Fats says:
Surely he meant to say ‘howl’
Cocoa putting her best foot forward.