Monday, October 13, 2014

Fats Domino: The Fat Man

Fats Domino was one of the most successful of the founding fathers of rock and roll. Domino hailed from New Orleans and started his career as a New Orleans R&B performer. He is forever remembered for the early rock and roll hits, “Blueberry Hill,” “The Fat Man,” I Want to Walk You Home,” “Walking to New Orleans,” “Ain’t it a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” and “I’m in Love Again.” The man was one of the giants of the Fifties, scoring almost three times as many hits as either Chuck Berry or Little Richard.

Domino was born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. in New Orleans, in 1928. After spending time in the Dave Bartholomew band as pianist, he made his first recordings in 1950 with “The Fat Man” and “Detroit City Blues.” “The Fat Man” was an important recording in the development of what was to become rock and roll. The song was co-written, as were most of Fats' big hits, with trumpeter, Bartholomew. The song became a huge R&B hit, and it is one of the most successful debut singles in pop music history.

By the time rock and roll emerged in the mid-1950s, Domino was already an established R&B star, and his transition to rock and roll was an easy one. In 1955, he scored his first hit on the pop charts with “Ain’t it a Shame,” the song that introduced him to white audiences and turned him into one of the first rock and roll stars.

Domino’s best recordings can be most easily found via compilation. Among the best Domino compilations are “Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino” (1956), “Fats Domino Swings 12, 000, 000 Records” (1958), “The Fantastic Fats Domino-20 Original Hits” (1977), and “My Blue Heaven-The Best of Fats Domino” (1990).
Photo by Heinrich Klaffs