Show Business: Harlem's Sultan of Stride

When he signed his first recording contract in the '20s, Thomas ("Fats") Waller demanded an unusual rider: there had to be a fresh bottle of gin on his piano when he arrived in the morning and another to take home when he left in the afternoon. But then there was nothing usual about Fats. "He was a man of gargantuan appetites and talent," says Murray Horwitz, Ain't Misbehavin's associate director. "He was 100%. When he was with you, he didn't hold anything back. Everything he had was yours, his heart and whatever else he...

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