Fats Domino Overview

Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino (born February 26, 1928) is an American United States R&B Rhythm and blues and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter.

 
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Domino was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Imperial Records era (1949–1962)

Domino first attracted national attention with "The Fat Man The Fat Man (song) " in 1949 on Imperial Records. This song is an early rock and roll record, featuring a rolling piano and Domino doing "wah-wah wah-wah (music) " vocalizing over a strong back beat. It sold over a million copies and is widely regarded as the first rock and roll record to do so.

Fats Domino released a series of hit songs with producer and co-writer Dave Bartholomew, saxophonists Saxophone Herbert Hardesty and Alvin "Red" Tyler Alvin Tyler and drummer Earl Palmer. Other notable and long-standing musicians in Domino's band were saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen Lee Allen (musician) , and Fred Kemp, Domino's trusted bandleader. Domino finally crossed into the pop po***r music mainstream with "Ain't That a Shame" (1955), which hit the Top Ten, though Pat Boone characteristically hit #1 with a milder cover Cover version of the song that received wider radio airplay in a racially-segregated Racial segregation era. Domino would eventually release 37 Top 40 singles, "Whole Lotta Loving" and "Blue Monday Blue Monday (Fats Domino song) " among them.

Domino's first album, Carry on Rockin', was released under the Imperial imprint, #9009, in November 1955 and subsequently reissued as Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino in 1956.


Domino and Hurricane Katrina




When Hurricane Katrina was approaching New Orleans in August 2005, Dianna Chenevert encouraged Fats to evacuate, but he chose to stay at home with his family, partly because of his wife's poor health. Unfortunately his house was in an area that was heavily flooded. Chenevert e-mailed writers at the Times Picayune newspaper and the Coast Guard with the Dominos' location.

Someone thought Fats was dead, and spray-painted a message on his home, "RIP Fats. You will be missed", which was shown in news photos. On September 1, Domino's agent, Al Embry, announced that he had not heard from the musician since before the hurricane had struck.

Later that day, CNN reported that Domino was rescued by a Coast Guard United States Coast Guard helicopter. Embry confirmed that Domino and his family had been rescued. The Domino family was then taken to a Baton Rouge shelter, after which they were picked up by JaMarcus Russell, the starting quarterback of the Louisiana State University football team, and Fats' granddaughter's boyfriend. He let the Dominos stay in his apartment. The Washington Post reported that on September 2, they had left Russell's apartment after sleeping three nights on the couch. "We've lost everything", Domino said, according to the Post.

By January 2006, work to gut and repair Reconstruction of New Orleans Domino's home and office had begun. For the meantime, the Domino family is residing in Harvey, Louisiana.

Chenevert replaced the Southern Stars poster Fats Domino lost in Katrina and President George W. Bush also made a personal visit and replaced the medal that President Bill Clinton had previously awarded Fats.


Post-Katrina activity

shakes the hand of Fats Domino, wearing a National Medal of Arts, after the President presented it on August 29, 2006, at the musician's home in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. The medal was a replacement medal for the one—originally awarded by President Bill Clinton—that was lost in the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.

Domino was the first artist to be announced as scheduled to perform at the 2006 Jazz & Heritage Festival. However, he was too ill to perform when scheduled and was only able to offer the audience an on-stage greeting. Domino also released an album Alive and Kickin' in early 2006 to benefit the Tipitina's Foundation, which supports indigent local musicians. The title song was recorded after Katrina, but most of the cuts were from unreleased sessions in the 1990s.

On January 12, 2007, Domino was honored with OffBeat OffBeat (magazine) magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Best of the Beat Awards held at House of Blues in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin declared the day "Fats Domino Day in New Orleans" and presented Fats Domino with a signed declaration. OffBeat publisher Jan Ramsey and WWL-TV's Eric Paulsen presented Fats Domino with the Lifetime Achievement Award. An all-star musical tribute followed with an introduction by the legendary producer Cosimo Matassa. The Lil' Band O' Gold rhythm section, Warren Storm, Kenny Bill Stinson, David Egan and C.C. Adcock, not only anchored the band, but each contributed lead vocals, swamp pop legend Warren Storm leading off with "Let the Four Winds Blow" and "The Prisoner Song", which he proudly introduced by saying, "Fats Domino recorded this in 1958.. and so did I." The horn section included Lil' Band O' Gold's Dickie Landry, the Iguanas' Derek Huston, and long-time Domino horn men Roger Lewis, Elliot "Stackman" Callier and Herb Hardesty. They were joined by Jon Cleary (who also played guitar in the rhythm section), Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Irma Thomas, George Porter, Jr. (who, naturally, came up with a funky arrangement for "You Keep On Knocking"), Art Neville, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, who wrote and debuted a song in tribute of Domino for the occasion. Though Domino didn't perform, those near him recall him playing air piano and singing along to his own songs.

Fats Domino returned to stage on May 19, 2007, at Tipitina's at New Orleans, performing to a full house. A foundation has been formed and a show is being planned for Domino and the restoration of his home, where he intends to return someday. "I like it down there" he said in a February, 2006 CBS News interview.

In September 2007, Domino was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Ferriday Ferriday, Louisiana . In December 2007, Fats Domino was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

In May 2009, Domino made an unexpected appearance for The Domino Effect, a namesake concert aimed at raising funds to help rebuild schools and playgrounds damaged by Hurricane Katrina.He was acknowledged as an important influence on the music of the 1960s and 1970s by some of the top artists of that era. Paul McCartney reportedly wrote the Beatles song "Lady Madonna" in an emulation of Domino's style, combining it with a nod to Humphrey Lyttelton's 1956 hit "Bad Penny Blues", a record which Joe Meek had engineered. Domino did manage to return to the "Hot 100" charts one final time in 1968—with his own recording of "Lady Madonna". That recording, as well as covers of two other Beatles songs, appeared on his Reprise LP Gramophone record Fats Is Back, produced by Richard Perry and recorded by a band which included New Orleans piano player James Booker; Domino played piano only on one track, "I'm Ready".
Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney later recorded Fats Domino songs. Domino's rhythm, accentuating the offbeat as in the song "Be My Guest", was an influence on ska music.
Ray Manzarek, keyboard player from The Doors has also stated a big influence from Fats Domino, on the "History of Rock and Roll" documentary series.
 

 

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