Remembering Fats Domino: The Architect of Rock n Roll
#Fats Domino, one of the architects of rock 'n' roll, died Tuesday having lived for 89 years because of natural causes. His final rest was marked at his daughter's suburban New Orleans home. There is no doubt that #Domino was a relic of his era. Artists by the dozen acknowledge his influence, the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame included him in their inaugural class in 1986 and many of the songs he wrote with Dave Bartholomew are considered standards that many try to uphold even now.
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an #American #pianist and singer-songwriter. Domino was famous for his large persona, #dance hall piano playing, and #tales of love and home that made him #Elvis Presley’s top rival in his times. Domino has been credited with selling more records than any other 1950s rock and roll act except Presley. People say that Domino's humility and shyness may be one reason his contribution to the genre has been overlooked.
Domino sold more than 65 million records. He had 35 records in the #US #Billboard #Top 40 and five of his pre-1955 records sold more than a million copies, being certified #gold. Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits. His musical style was based on traditional #rhythm and blues, accompanied by #saxophones, #bass, piano, #electric guitar, and #drums.
In the 1940s, Domino Jr. was working at a mattress factory in New Orleans and playing piano at night. Both his waistline and his fan base were expanding. That's when his bandleader Diamond began calling him "Fats." From there, it was a cakewalk to his first million-selling record — "The Fat Man."
All in all, Domino was also an important influence on the #music of the 1960s and 1970s and was acknowledged as such by some of the top artists of that era. Elvis Presley introduced Fats at one of his Las Vegas concerts, saying, "This gentleman was a huge influence on me when I started out." Presley also made this comment in a 1957 interview: "A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”
His Best Compositions:
Take "The Fat Man," 1949 single which isn't only his debut single but, by many measures, the first recording that could be called rock n' roll. It was cited as the first rock and roll record. #Robert Christgau wrote that Domino was "the most widely liked rock and roller of the '50s" and remarked on his influence: “… though his bouncy boogie-woogie piano and easy Creole gait were generically Ninth Ward, they defined a pop-friendly second-line beat that nobody knew was there before he and Dave Bartholomew created 'The Fat Man' in 1949. In short, this shy, deferential, uncharismatic man invented New Orleans rock and roll.”
"Blueberry Hill” which was not Domino's own song — but it may have been Domino's biggest hit. It was first published in 1940 and had already been recorded by the likes of Glenn Miller, Gene Autry and Louis Armstrong — but Domino's version in 1956, complete with those right-hand triplets, was unforgettable.
Bartholomew wrote Domino's favorite: "Blue Monday" which first recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1954.
"Ain't That A Shame," Domino's first top 10 pop hit, arrived in August 1955, nearly half a year prior to the first smash Elvis Presley single, "Heartbreak Hotel" In other words, Fats got there first -- a fact Elvis readily acknowledged.
The Beatles went going so far as to write a valentine to the Fat Man in the form of "Lady Madonna," a song so much in Domino's wheelhouse he wound up covering it in 1968. As great as it is, "Lady Madonna" carried the suggestion that Domino was an artifact from another time, a rocker who would forever be associated with the fashions of the music's inception, but this song proved malleable.
Other cultures zeroed onto the sweetness of Domino's bounce -- ska and reggae are impossible to imagine without Fats' buoyant beat; "Be My Guest".
Celebrities reacting to Domino’s death:
Harry Connick Jr:
RIP fats domino... you helped pave the way for New Orleans piano players... see you on top of that blueberry hill in the sky.
Words fail me in this moment of deep heartache and sadness. We have lost a legend. One of my heroes. New Orleans’ Fats Domino is dead.
Rest in paradise to Fats Domino. He paved the way for so many. I remember listening to his music as a little boy. #Fatsdomino
We lost a Rock and Roll legend today. Rest In Peace to the man Fats Domino!! Your music will live forever!!
RIP Fats Domino, remembered by our great friend Rob Eaglesham @robsham (bossman and singer of our first band). love p and c
Samuel L. Jackson:
I found My Thrill on " Blueberry Hill"! RIP Fats Domino.