Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

 John Falter's Jazz Portraits

        Willie "the Lion" Smith

Pianist Willie "the Lion" Smith (William Bertholoff) also composed and sang. An early practitioner of the stride style of piano playing, Smith influenced many jazz pianists, including Fats Waller and Duke Ellington. Smith's early work included sessions with Mamie Smith. He became a soloist in his later years.


Echoes by himself, Willie "the Lion" Smith

John Falter
pencil and tempera paint on colored paper, 1971

Donor: John P. Falter Collection


Willie "the Lion" Smith

John Falter
lithograph, from the "Jazz from Life" series, 1971

Falter has included Smith's hands in the print version, adding a small sense of movement.

Donor: Cliff's Notes, Inc.

Virtual Exhibits


Colorado Jazz Party

World's Greatest Jazz Band

   Lou Stein & Carl Fontana

   Vic Dickenson

   Ed Hubble

   Bobby Wilber & Bud Freeman

   Ralph Sutton

Jazz in Action

   Cliff Leeman

   Gus Johnson & Budd Johnson

   Willie "the Lion" Smith

   Benny Carter

   Teddy Wilson

   Dick Hyman

   John Mince

   Clark Terry & Zoot Simms

In the Studio

Pee Wee Erwin of Falls City

Odessa Jazz Party 1
   Kai Winding, Milt Hinton, Bert Ellis, Ross Tompkins

   Bucky Pizzarelli

   Jack Lesberg

Odessa Jazz Party 2
   Stan Wrightsman, Skeets Herfurt, "Wild Bill" Davison




back next

NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top  |  Back  |  Next
Last updated 11 April 2012

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage  |  Website Policies  |  © 2012 All Rights Reserved