Fats Domino<<go to audio control>>
Fats Domino died on 24th October 2017, at his home in Harvey, Louisiana, U.S.A. at the age of eighty-nine. It was from natural causes, according to the coroner's office.
Fats Domino was born Antoine Domino Jr, and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. the youngest of eight children born to Antoine Caliste Domino and Marie-Donatille Gros . The Domino family was of French Creole background, and Louisiana Creole was Fats' first language.
Fats Domino was born at home with the assistance of his grandmother, a midwife. His name was initially misspelled as Anthony on his birth certificate. His family had recently arrived in the Lower Ninth Ward from Vacherie, Louisiana. His father was a part-time violin player who worked at a racetrack.
Fats Domino attended the Louis B. Macarty School until the fourth grade, leaving to start work as a helper to an ice delivery man. Fats was taught to play the piano in about nineteen thirty-eight by his brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett.
Fats Domino was married to Rosemary Domino from 1947 until her death in 2008; the couple had eight children: Antoine III, Anatole, Andre, Antonio, Antoinette, Andrea, Anola, and Adonica. Even after his success he continued to live in his old neighborhood, the Lower Ninth Ward, until after Hurricane Katrina, when he moved to a suburb of New Orleans.
By age fourteen,Fats Domino was performing in New Orleans bars. In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Fats played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders; at the Hideaway Club in New Orleans, where he would earn three dollars per week playing the piano. Diamond nicknamed him "Fats", because Fats Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon, but also because of his large appetite and shape.
Fats Domino was signed to the Imperial Records label in 1949 by owner Lew Chudd, to be paid royalties based on sales instead of a fee for each song. He and producer Dave Bartholomew wrote "The Fat Man", a toned down version of a song about drug addicts called "Junkers Blues"; the record had sold a million copies by 1951. Featuring a rolling piano and Domino vocalizing "wah-wah" over a strong backbeat, "The Fat Man" is widely considered the first rock-and-roll record to achieve this level of sales. In 2015, the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Fats Domino released a series of hit songs with Bartholomew, the saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin "Red" Tyler, the bassist Frank Fields, and the drummers Earl Palmer and Smokey Johnson. Other notable and long-standing musicians in Domino's band were the saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen, and Fred Kemp, Fats Domino's trusted bandleader.
While Fats Domino's own recordings were done for Imperial, he sometimes sat in during that time as a session musician on recordings by other artists for other record labels. Fats's rolling piano triplets provided the memorable instrumental introduction for Lloyd Price's first hit, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", recorded for Specialty Records in March 1952 at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans. Dave Bartholomew was producing Price's record, which also featured familiar Domino collaborators Hardesty, Fields and Palmer as sidemen, and he asked Fats to play the piano part, replacing the original session pianist.
Fats Domino crossed into the pop mainstream with "Ain't That a Shame" (mislabeled as "Ain't It a Shame") which reached the Top Ten. This was the first of his records to appear on the Billboard pop singles chart, in July 1955. In 1955, Fats Domino was said to be earning $10,000 per week while touring, according to a report in the memoir of artist Chuck Berry. Fats Domino eventually had thirty-seven Top 40 singles.
Fats Domino's debut album, Carry On Rockin, which contained several of his hits and tracks that had not yet been released as singles, was issued on the Imperial label in November 1955, and was reissued as Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino in 1956.
Fats' 1956 recording of "Blueberry Hill", a 1940 song by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock, which had previously been recorded by Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong and others, reached number two on the Billboard Juke Box chart for two weeks and was number 1 on the Rythm&Blues chart for eleven weeks. It was his biggest hit, selling more than five million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957. The song was subsequently recorded by Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Led Zeppelin. Some thirty-two years later, the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Fats Domino had further hit singles between 1956 and 1959, including "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" , "I'm Walkin'", "Valley of Tears", "It's You I Love", "Whole Lotta Loving", "I Want to Walk You Home", and "Be My Guest" .
Fats Domino appeared in two films released in 1956: Shake, Rattle & Rock! and The Girl Can't Help It. In December 1957, his hit recording of "The Big Beat" was featured on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
In November 1956, a riot broke out at a Domino concert in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The police used tear gas to break up the unruly crowd. Fats jumped out a window to avoid the melee; he and two members of his band were slightly injured. During his career, four major riots occurred at his concerts, "partly because of integration", according to his biographer Rick Coleman. But also the fact they had alcohol at these shows. So they were mixing alcohol, plus dancing, plus the races together for the first time in a lot of these places. In November 1957, Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV program; no disturbance accompanied this performance.
In the same year, the article "King of Rock ’n’ Roll" in Ebony magazine featured Fats Domino who said he was on the road 340 days a year, up to $2,500 per evening, and grossing over $500,000; Fats Domino also told readers that he owned 50 suits, 100 pairs of shoes and a $1,500 diamond horseshoe stick pin.
Fats Domino had a steady series of hits for Imperial through early 1962, including "Walking' to New Orleans" in 1960,, co-written by Bobby Charles, and "My Girl Josephine" in the same year. He toured Europe in 1962 and met the Beatles who would later cite Domino as an inspiration. After returning, he played the first of his many stands in Las Vegas.
Fats Domino continued to record steadily until about 1970, leaving ABC-Paramount in mid-1965 and recording for Mercury Records, where he delivered a live album and two singles. A studio album was planned but stalled with just four tracks recorded . Dave Bartholomew's small Broadmoor label , featured many contemporary Soul infused sides but an album was released overseas in 1971 to fulfill his Reprise Records contract. He shifted to that label after Broadmoor and had a Top 100 single, a cover of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna".
Fats Domino continued to be popular as a performer for several decades. He made a cameo appearance in Clint Eastwood's movie Any Which Way You Can, filmed in 1979 and released in 1980 singing the country song "Whiskey Heaven" which later became a minor hit. His life and career were showcased in Joe Lauro's 2015 documentary The Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll.
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song: 'Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino