Renowned for his long collaboration with Fats Waller, Al Casey towers alongside the finest acoustic guitarists of the swing era, boasting a subtly powerful presence that flourished in intimate musical contexts. Born September 15, 1915, in Louisville, KY, Casey was a child prodigy who first adopted the violin, briefly moving to the ukulele before zeroing in on the guitar, which he studied at New York City's DeWitt Clinton High School. He joined Waller while in his mid-teens, recommended to the legendary pianist by his uncles, who met Waller while on tour with their gospel group the Southern Singers. Waller insisted Casey remain in school and earn his diploma before he could join the group full-time, but the guitarist was a fixture of recording sessions from the early '30s onward, and even joined Waller on tour during extended holiday breaks. Casey remained with the group until Waller's 1943 death, appearing on more than 200 classic swing sides; the famous blues number "Buck Jumpin'" took shape after Casey appeared late to a gig, prompting Waller to single him out on-stage and invite him to play a solo. The result was so electrifying that it was later captured in the studio.