Fats Waller — My Fate Is In Your Hands (vocal by Gene Austin)

Thanks to Orchard for the You Tube

My Fate Is In Your Hands is an interesting record made by Fats Waller with Gene Austin on the vocal. It was recorded November 25, 1929. Apparently, the orchestra was a Victor studio orchestra and not Fats’s Rhythm. Fats solos after the lyric.

Gene Austin (1900-1972) was born Lemuel Lucas in Gainsville Texas, but changed his name to Gene Austin for show business reasons. In addition to singing, he was a prolific songwriter (How Come You Do Me Like You Do, When My Sugar Walks Down the Street, The Lonesome Road, Ridin in the Rain, and Voice of the Southland.) He became a very wealthy man based on song royalties by other performers, from Mildred Bailey and Bing Crosby in the 1920’s to Dick Dale and Duane Eddy in the early 1960’s Rock and Roll era. However, the song on this record,  My Fate Is In Your Hands, was written, music by Fats Waller, lyric by Andy Razaf.

Austin himself sold 80 million records from 1925 to 1935. With the development of the electrostatic microphone, he was a pioneer of the soft, intimate “crooner” style of singing (compared to the bellowing stage style of singing.) His singing style influenced Bing Crosby, Russ Columbo, and later Frank Sinatra. It was Bing Crosby’s White Christmas that broke Gene Austin’s sales record for a single recording. Austin retired in the 1950’s, and he has largely been forgotten. But, for several decades, he was very big.

Fats Waller was a skilled accompanist who blended his style very well with a variety of artists.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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