All About Fats Domino

"A lot of people will say, 'Ah, Fats, he wasn't Chuck Berry or Elvis', but if you ask me, he was as good as any of them."
- Robbie Robertson, The Band.

Last Updated: 2017-11-16
Fats Domino
FATS DOMINO OVERVIEW: (written by Sampson)
When Charting the course of rock 'n' roll few names loom as large as Fats Domino. From 1950 to 1963 Domino scored at least one Top Twenty-Five hit each year, a run of dominance virtually unparalled in the annals of popular music. He sold over 110 million records in his career and his 85 total hits ranks behind only Elvis Presley, James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin among rock artists, while only Presley and The Beatles have more gold singles than Domino.

Yet despite all those accomplishments, Domino is often seen as somewhat dispensable when discussing rock legends. Compared to his wild piano pounding contemporaries Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, whose styles reeked of musical anarchy, Domino was far less controversial, even though his 50's concerts ended in full-scale riots on countless occasions. In contrast to the blatant sex appeal of Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson, the affable Fats was decidedly non-threatening. And compared to the constant daring musical experimentations of James Brown and Ray Charles, the prolific Domino stuck to the same basic course he embarked on when starting his career.
Fats Domino card
But what all that fails to realize is that Domino was SO good that he didn't need any controversy, matinee idol looks or drastic experimental overhauls to sell records. Without those he still came to embody 1950s rock music as well as anybody, in particular the beat heavy New Orleans sound that fueled the decade's musical spirit, solely due to his incredibly consistent songwriting, playing and singing.

Antoine Domino Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans where music courses through the veins of virtually every person who lives there. Taught piano as a kid by his older brother-in-law, himself a professional musician, Domino was soon good enough to pick up money in his teens playing locally. In New Orleans in the 1940s it was possible for a musician to make a living without ever venturing far outside the region, and Domino appeared to be another in the long lineage of Crescent City local stars as he packed crowds in night after night at the Hideaway Club until fate eventually intervened.
Black rhythm & blues music had become an increasingly popular style after World War Two and small independent record companies sprang up everywhere to meet the demand for the music that the major labels wouldn't touch. One of these was Imperial Records out of California run by Lew Chudd. Despite L.A.'s own fertile R&B scene, Chudd ventured southeast to find more talent and wound up in Houston where he saw trumpeter/bandleader Dave Bartholomew play. Bartholomew wasn't unknown, he'd had a few recordings himself on a couple of labels but wasn't signed to any company at the time. He and Chudd worked out an agreement for Bartholomew to scout talent and produce records for Imperial in his native New Orleans and when Chudd arrived a few weeks later Bartholomew brought him to the Hideaway Club to see the increasingly popular local draw Domino, who was signed almost immediately.
Fats Domino lobby card
On December 10, 1949 they entered the studio and made musical history. Eight sides were recorded including what may be the first true rock 'n' roll record, the autobiographical "The Fat Man," which was a reworking of an old Champion Jack Dupree number, "Junker's Blues," from 1941. Released in January 1950, the Fats Domino debut single was a huge success, hitting # 2 on the Billboard R&B charts and really began the country's exposure to the unique sounds of New Orleans R&B as well as rock 'n' roll.

The next five years resulted in over a dozen national hits for Domino, including two that managed the almost impossible feat at the time of crossing over into the white dominated pop charts. But as more and more white teenagers began discovering this music the notoriety of it increased, and Domino found himself at the forefront of the widespread breakout of rock and roll in 1955 when his song "Ain't It A Shame" became his biggest hit to date, breaking into the Top Ten on the Pop Charts. At the same time Pat Boone's homogenized cover version, re-titled "Ain't That A Shame," his one contribution to the song's legacy, went all the way to Number One."
Suddenly Domino had an entirely new audience that was unaware of his past success but enthusiastic of his every move. A concert in Connecticut he was to headline had to be canceled for fear it would ignite teenage riots. He also appeared on movie screens in cameos for rockploitation films singing his latest releases, and he kept racking up hit after hit, sometimes as many as ten or eleven in a year. While other rockers of that era saw their fortunes decline in time due to scandal, changing tastes, or a draught of good material, Domino rolled right along into the early 1960s, after ranking second only to Presley in terms of commercial success during the 1950s.
Dave Bartholomew
While critics assert he rarely deviated from his successful formula there is not much credibility to this charge. It was Domino above all others who proved that you could successfully revive pop standards to fit the rock 'n' roll framework, as he did most famously with "Blueberry Hill," a song now remembered mainly as a Domino performance. He did the same to a handful of others, ranging from Guy Lombardo tunes to even "My Blue Heaven." Then in the early 1960s he successfully melded his style to country music by recording a series of Hank Williams songs, and yet unlike Ray Charles, whose country/R&B merger at the time was drawing raves as daringly experimental, Domino received little credit for doing the same himself. He was also able to adapt to the prominence of string sessions in rock on one of his biggest hits, "Walking To New Orleans," and yet still play pounding boogie rock 'n' roll when called for. In fact his easygoing charm and genteel persona allowed him to escape the looming backlash that faced rock and roll in the late 1950s and resulted in many of its biggest stars careers taking downward turns due to scandal (real or trumped up), and the resulting radio blacklistings. By contrast Domino's popularity seemed to have no end in sight.

In 1962 however his Imperial contract expired and he was offered an enormous amount to sign with ABC-Paramount Records, a company still looking to make a dent in rock 'n' roll. He switched labels and immediately saw his success fall off. The new producers brought him to Nashville, away from his musical base and his crack band and saddled his records with excessive strings and female backup singers in a foolhardy attempt to make him more palatable to older pop audiences, almost assuring him of alienating his enormous rock fanbase in the process. Even as his piano playing and vocals remained strong, they were buried under the heavy-handed out of place production and his records barely scraped the charts they once seemed to own. Before this could be righted American rock was hit with the British Invasion and suddenly tastes changed overnight, leaving behind many of the stars that inspired the English rockers in the first place, Domino included.
By now however Domino had enough money and popularity to subsist on royalties and live appearances and consequently his new recordings tailed off. A brief flurry of activity in 1968, when he had a well-received "comeback" album and a minor hit single covering the Beatles "Lady Madonna", a song Paul McCartney wrote in tribute to Domino, was shortlived. Rock fans of the time might've also been impressed to learn that holed up in a pink house in upstate New York Bob Dylan and the Band were jamming together playing Domino's classic "Please Don't Leave Me", and that a few years later Van Morrison's Top Ten hit "Domino" was an homage to its namesake, Fats. Yet by the early 70's Domino himself was no longer actively recording much, instead he played his old hits on revival tours to enthusiastic audiences and then settled in as a Las Vegas regular playing to rock fans of the 50's who'd grown up with his music, still putting forth incredible performances with his always top-rate band. Eventually, as other more flamboyant stars from rock's first decade boasted in countless interviews about their roles in rock music becoming the cultural landmark it grew into, the shy, unassuming Domino quietly settled into a comfortable semi-retirement in his beloved New Orleans.
I'm Walkin' sheet music cover
In 2004 Domino resurfaced in the national news when Hurricane Katrina devestated New Orleans. Reports surfaced that Fats had been killed during the storm, but soon images of him being helped into a boat from his rooftop following the flooding of the 9th Ward appeared in national publications, the first time in years that many people had cause to think about the man who was responsible for much of the greatest music of their lifetimes. In the weeks that followed Domino's "Walkin' To New Orleans" was sung at numerous fundraising performances, a poignant tribute to the man and the city that will be forever intertwined. Two years later, as the area rebounded from the tragedy, Fats Domino headlined The New Orleans Jazz Festival, offering a vital reminder that the music from Crescent City - rock 'n' roll - changed the world.
Fats Domino with the Beatles
Domino passed away in 2017 at age 89 while rock 'n' roll, the music he propelled to national prominence and reigned over for so many years, carries on. Few of its artists through the years left behind a more impressive legacy and on the Mt. Rushmore of Rock 'n' Roll, Domino's familiar smiling face and flattop haircut are assured of being carved.
The Fat Man / Detroit City Blues - 1950 (Imperial 5058)

Boogie-Woogie Baby / Little Bee - 1950 (Imperial 5065)

Hide Away Blues / She's My Baby - 1950 (Imperial 5077)

Hey La Bas Boogie / Brand New Baby - 1950 (Imperial 5085)

Every Night About This Time / Korea Blues - 1950 (Imperial 5099)

Tired Of Crying / What's The Matter Baby - 1951 (Imperial 5114)

Don't You Lie To Me / Sometimes I Wonder - 1951 (Imperial 5123)

Right From Wrong / No, No Baby - 1951 (Imperial 5138)

Rockin' Chair / Careless Love - 1951 (Imperial 5145)

I'll Be Gone / You Know I Miss You - 1952 (Imperial 5167)

Goin' Home / Reeling And Rocking - 1952 (Imperial 5180)

Poor Poor Me / Trust In Me - 1952 (Imperial 5197)

How Long / Dreaming - 1952 (Imperial 5209)

Nobody Loves Me / Cheatin' - 1953 (Imperial 5220)

Going To The River / Mardi Gras In New Orleans - 1953 (Imperial 5231)

Please Don't Leave Me / The Girl I Love - 1953 (Imperial 5240)

Rose Mary / You Said You Loved Me - 1953 (Imperial 5251)

Something's Wrong / Don't Leave Me This Way - 1953 (Imperial 5262)

You Done Me Wrong / Little School Girl - 1954 (Imperial 5272)

Where Did You Stay / Baby Please - 1954 (Imperial 5283)

You Can Pack Your Suitcase / I Lived My Life - 1954 (Imperial 5301)

Love Me / Don't You Hear Me Calling You - 1954 (Imperial 5313)

I Know / Thinking Of You - 1954 (Imperial 5323)

Don't You Know / Helping Hand - 1955 (Imperial 5340)

Ain't It A Shame / La La - 1955 (Imperial 5348)

All By Myself / Troubles Of My Own - 1955 (Imperial 5357)

Poor Me / I Can't Go On - 1955 (Imperial 5369)

Bo Weevil / Don't Blame It On Me - 1956 (Imperial 5375)

I'm In Love Again / My Blue Heaven - 1956 (Imperial 5386)

When My Dreamboat Comes Home / So Long - 1956 (Imperial 5396)

Blueberry Hill / Honey Chile - 1956 (Imperial 5407)

Blue Monday / What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasing You - 1956 (Imperial 5417)

I'm Walkin' / I'm In The Mood For Love - 1957 (Imperial 5428)

Valley Of Tears / It's You I Love - 1957 (Imperial 5442)

What Will I Tell My Heart / When I See You - 1957 (Imperial 5454)

Wait And See / I Still Love You - 1957 (Imperial 5467)

The Big Beat / I Want You To Know - 1957 (Imperial 5477)

Yes My Darling / Don't You Know I Love You - 1958 (Imperial 5492)

Sick And Tired / No, No - 1958 (Imperial 5515)

Little Mary / Prisoner's Song - 1958 (Imperial 5526)

Young School Girl / It Must Be Love - 1958 (Imperial 5537)

Whole Lotta Loving / Coquette - 1958 (Imperial 5553)

Telling Lies / When The Saints Go Marching In - 1959 (Imperial 5569)

I'm Ready / Margie - 1959 (Imperial 5585)

I Want To Walk You Home / I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday - 1959 (Imperial 5606)

Be My Guest / I've Been Around - 1959 (Imperial 5629)

If You Need Me / Country Boy - 1960 (Imperial 5645)

Before I Grow Too Old / Tell Me That You Love Me - 1960 (Imperial 5660)

Walking To New Orleans / Don't Come Knockin' - 1960 (Imperial 5675)

Three Nights A Week / Put Your Arms Around Me Honey - 1960 (Imperial 5687)

My Girl Josephine / Natural Born Lover - 1960 (Imperial 5704)

Ain't That Just Like A Woman / What A Price - 1961 (Imperial 5723)

Shu Rah / Fell In Love On Monday - 1961 (Imperial 5734)

It Keeps Rainin' / I Just Cry - 1961 (Imperial 5753)

Let The Four Winds Blow / Good Hearted Man - 1961 (Imperial 5764)

What A Party / Rockin' Bicycle - 1961 (Imperial 5779)

I Hear You Knocking / Jambalaya (On The Bayou) - 1961 (Imperial 5796)

You Win Again / Ida Jane - 1962 (Imperial 5816)

My Real Name / My Heart Is Bleeding - 1962 (Imperial 5833)

Dance With Mr. Domino / Nothing New (Same Old Thing) - 1962 (Imperial 5863)

Did You Ever See A Dream Walking / Stop The Clock - 1962 (Imperial 5875)

Won't You Come On Back / Hands Across The Table - 1962 (Imperial 5895)

Hum Diddy Doo / Those Eyes - 1963 (Imperial 5909)

You Always Hurt The One You Love / Trouble Blues - 1963 (Imperial 5937)

True Confession / Isle Of Capri - 1963 (Imperial 5959)

One Night / I Can't Go On This Way - 1963 (Imperial 5980)

I Can't Give You Anything But Love / Goin' Home - 1963 (Imperial 66005)

Your Cheatin' Heart / When I Was Young - 1964 (Imperial 66016)

There Goes (My Heart Again) / Can't Go On Without You - 1963 (ABC 10444)

When I'm Walking (Let Me Walk) / I've Got A Right To Cry - 1963 (ABC 10475)

Red Sails In The Sunset / Song For Rosemary - 1963 (ABC 10484)

Who Cares / Just A Lonely Man - 1963 (ABC 10512)

Lazy Lady / I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire - 1964 (ABC 10531)

If You Don't Know What Love Is / Something You Got Baby - 1964 (ABC 10545)

Mary, Oh Mary / Packin' Up - 1964 (ABC 10567)

Sally Was A Good Old Girl / For You - 1964 (ABC 10584)

Kansas City / Heartbreak Hill - 1964 (ABC 10596)

Why Don't You Do Right / Wigs - 1965 (ABC 10631)

Let Me Call You Sweetheart / Goodnight Sweetheart - 1965 (ABC 10644)

I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire / I'm Living Right - 1967 (ABC 10902)

I Done Got Over It / I Left My Heart In San Francisco - 1965 (Mercury 72463)

What's That You Got? / It's Never Too Late - 1965 (Mercury 72485)

The Lady In Black / Working My Way Up Steady - 1967 (Broadmoor 104)

Big Mouth / Wait 'Til It Happens To You - 1967 (Broadmoor 105)

One For The Highway / Honest Papas Love Their Mamas Better - 1968 (Reprise 0696)

Lady Madonna / One For The Highway - 1968 (Reprise 0763)

Lovely Rita / Wait 'Till It Happens To You - 1968 (Reprise 0775)

Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey /
So Swell When You're Well - 1969 (Reprise)

Make Me Belong To You / Have You Seen My Baby - 1970 (Reprise 0891)

New Orleans Ain't The Same / Sweet Patootie - 1970 (Reprise 0944)

Sleeping On The Job / After Hours - 1978 (Sonet 2168 -UK)

Whiskey Heaven / (different artist on flip side) - 1980 (Warner Brothers 49610)

My Toot Toot (Country) / My Toot Toot (Rock) - 1985 (Fats Domino / Doug Kershaw) (Toot Toot 001)
The Fat Man single lable
Fats Donino EP
You Done Me Wrong single lable
I Want You To Know single sleve
Blue Monday single lable
Be My Guest single sleve
Blueberry Hill single lable
What's That You Got? single sleve
I Hear You Knocking single lable
Let The Four Winds Blow single lable
When I'm Walking single lable
The Lady In Black single lable
One For The Highway single lable
Blueberry Hill sheet music cover
Rock And Rollin' With Fats Domino - 1956 - Imperial LP-9004
Rock And Rollin' With Fats Domino album cover
Side 1: The Fat Man / Tired Of Crying / Goin' Home / You Said You Love Me / Going To The River / Please Don't Leave Me

Side 2: Rose Mary / All By Myself / Ain't It A Shame / Poor Me / Bo Weevil / Don't Blame It On Me
Rock And Rollin' - 1956 - Imperial LP-9009
Rock And Rollin' album cover
Side 1: My Blue Heaven / Swanee River Hop / Second Line Jump / Goodbye/Careless / I Love Her

Side 2: I'm In Love Again / When My Dreamboat Comes Home / Are You Going My Way / If You Need Me / My Heart Is In Your Hands / Fats' Frenzy
This Is Fats Domino - 1957 - Imperial LP-9028
This Is Fats Domino
Side 1: Blueberry Hill / Honey Chile / What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasing You / Blue Monday / So Long / La La

Side 2: Troubles Of My Own / You Done Me Wrong / Reeling And Rocking / The Fat Man's Hop / Poor Poor Me / Trust In Me
Here Stands Fats Domino - 1957 - Imperial LP-9038
Here Stands Fats Domino
Side 1: Detroit City Blues / Hide Away Blues / She's My Baby / New Baby / Little Bee / Every Night About This Time

Side 2: I'm Walkin' / I'm In The Mood For Love / Cheatin' / You Can Pack Your Suitcase / Hey! Fat Man / I'll Be Gone
This Is Fats - 1957 - Imperial LP-9040
This Is Fats
Side 1: The Rooster Song / My Happiness / As Time Goes By / Hey La Bas / Love Me / Don't You Hear Me Calling You

Side 2: It's You I Love / Valley Of Tears / Where Did You Stay / Baby Please
The Fabulous Mr. D - 1958 - Imperial LP-9055
The Fabulous Mr. D
Side 1: The Big Beat / I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You / What Will I Tell My Heart / Barrel House / Little Mary / Sick And Tired

Side 2: I Want You To Know / 44 / Mardi Gras In New Orleans / I Can't Go On / Long Lonesome Journey / Young School Girl
Fats Domino Swings 12,000,000 Records - 1959 - Imperial LP-9062
Fats Domino Swings 12,000,000 Records
Side 1: The Fat Man / Blue Monday / Blueberry Hill / I'm In Love Again / Going To The River / My Blue Heaven

Side 2: Bo Weevil / Goin' Home / Please Don't Leave Me / Ain't It A Shame / I'm Walkin' / Whole Lotta Loving
Let's Play Fats Domino - 1959 - Imperial LP-9065
Let's Play Fats Domino
Side 1: You Left Me / Ain't It Good / Howdy Podner / Stack And Billy / Would You / Margie

Side 2: Hands Across The Table / When The Saints Go Marching In/Ida Jane / Lil' Liza Jane / I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Some Day / I Want To Walk You Home
Fats Domino Sings Million Record Hits - 1960 - Imperial LP-9103
Fats Domino Sings Million Record Hits
Side 1: You Said You Love Me / I Still Love You / Be My Guest / Country Boy / If You Need Me / I Want To Walk You Home

Side 2: It's You I Love / I've Been Around / I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Some Day / I'm Ready/Margie / I Want You To Know
A Lot Of Dominos! - 1960 - Imperial LP-9127 (LP-12066 - stereo)
A Lot Of Dominos!
Side 1: Put Your Arms Around Me Honey / Three Nights A Week / Shu Rah / Rising Sun / My Girl Josephine / The Sheik Of Araby

Side 2: Walking To New Orleans / Don't Come Knockin' / Magic Isles / You Always Hurt The One You Love / It's The Talk Of The Town / Natural Born Lover
I Miss You So - 1961 - Imperial LP-9138
I Miss You So
Side 1: I Miss You So / It Keeps Rainin' / Ain't That Just Like A Woman / Once In A While / I Hear You Knocking / Isle Of Capri

Side 2: What A Price / When I Was Young / Fell In Love On Monday / My Bleeding Heart / Easter Parade / I'll Always be In Love With You
Let The Four Winds Blow - 1961 - Imperial LP-9153 (LP-12073 - stereo)
Let The Four Winds Blow
Side 1: Along The Navajo Trail / You Win Again / One Night / I'm Alone Because I Love You / Won't You Come On Back / Trouble Blues

Side 2: I Can't Give You Anything But Love / Good Hearted Man / Your Cheating Heart / Let The Four Winds Blow / In A Shanty In Old Shanty Town / Am I Blue
What A Party! - 1961 - Imperial LP-9164
What A Party!
Side 1: Did You Ever See A Dream Walking / Rockin' Bicycle / Before I Grow Too Old / Ain't Gonna Do It / Bad Luck And Trouble / Hold Hands

Side 2: Trouble In Mind / Coquette / What A Party / I Just Cry / I've Been Calling / Tell Me That You Love Me
Twistin' The Stomp - 1962 - Imperial LP-9170
Twistin' The Stomp
Side 1: Twistin' The Spots / The Twist Set Me Free / I Know / Every Night / Town Talk / Wait And See

Side 2: Twistin' The Stomp / Don't Deceive Me / A Long Way From Home / The Girl I Love / Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans? / South Of The Border
Million Sellers - 1962 - Imperial LP-9195
Million Sellers
Side 1: Walking To New Orleans / My Girl Josephine / Three Nights A Week / Shu Rah / My Real Name / Natural Born Lover

Side 2: Let The Four Winds Blow / What A Price / Jambalaya (On The Bayou) / You Win Again / Ain't Gonna Do It / My Heart Is Bleeding
Just Domino - 1962 - Imperial LP-9208
Just Domino
Side 1: Teen Age Love / Stop The Clock / Hum Diddy Doo / Those Eyes / I Want To Go Home / Dance With Mr. Domino

Side 2: Nothing New (Same Old Thing) / Birds And Bees / Wishing Ring / La La / No No / Goin' Home
Walkin' To New Orleans - 1963 - Imperial LP-9227
Walkin' To New Orleans
Side 1: How Can I Be Happy / One Of These Days / So Glad / Oh Wee / Sailor Boy / Lazy Woman

Side 2: Walking To New Orleans / My Love For Her / What's Wrong / Little Mama / I Guess I'll Be On My Way / Goin' Back Home
Let's Dance With Domino - 1963 - Imperial LP-9239
Let's Dance With Domino
Side 1: Ain't It A Shame / I Don't Want To Walk Without You / I Lived My Life / Someday / Telling Lies / When I See You

Side 2: Just A Little While (To Stray Here) / Oh Ba-a-by / When You're Smiling / Don't You Know I Love You / Yes My Darling / True Confession
Here He Comes Again! - 1963 - Imperial LP-9248
Here He Comes Again!
Side 1: Goin' Home / Trouble In Mind / Every Night / When I See You / Oh Ba-B-By / Ain't Gonna Do It

Side 2: Your Cheatin' Heart / I Can't Give You Anything But Love / Along The Navajo Trail / South Of The Border / Lil' Liza Jane / Telling Lies
Here Comes... Fats Domino - 1963 - ABC 455
Here Comes... Fats Domino
Side 1: When I'm Walking / I Got a Right to Cry / There Goes My Heart Again / Just a Lonely Man / Red Sails In the Sunset / Bye Baby, Bye, Bye

Side 2: Forever, Forever / I'm Livin' Right / Can't Go On Without You / Land of 1,000 Dances / Song For Rosemary / Tell Me the Truth, Baby
Fats On Fire - 1964 - ABC 479
Fats On Fire
Side 1: I Don't Want To Set the World On Fire / You Know I Miss You / Fats On Fire / The Land of Make-Believe / Old Man Trouble / Love Me

Side 2: Mary, Oh Mary / Gotta Get a Job / The Fat Man / Valley of Tears / Fats Shuffle / I'm a Fool to Care
Get Away With Fats Domino - 1965 - ABC 510
Get Away With Fats Domino
Side 1: When My Dreamboat Comes Home / Wigs/Trouble In Mind / Man That's All / Kansas City / Reelin' and Rockin'

Side 2: Slow Boat To China / Monkey Business / Hartbreak Hill / The Girl I'm Gonna Marry / Why Don't You Do Right / Ballin' the Jack
Fats Is Back - 1968 - Reprise 6304
Fats Is Back
Side 1: My Old Friends / I'm Ready / So Swell When You're Well / Wait Till It Happens To You / I Know / Lady Madonna

Side 2: Honest Papas Love Their Mamas Better / Make Me Belong To You / One For the Highway / Lovely Rita / One More Song For You
  1. Blueberry Hill
  2. Ain't It A Shame
  3. I'm Walkin'
  4. Blue Monday
  5. The Fat Man
  6. I'm In Love Again
  7. I'm Ready
  8. Walking To New Orleans
  9. Whole Lotta Loving
10. Let The Four Winds Blow
See Entire Top 100 List


"Cut for cut, there's not a catalog in rock'n'roll that is so purely enjoyable" - Stephen Thomas Erlewine (Pitchfork)

"One of the most exciting performers & an enormous influence on my career" - Paul McCartney.

"I read an article about Fats Domino which has really influenced me. He said, you should never sing the lyrics out very clearly." - Mick Jagger, speaking in 1968, on the source of his own sometimes mumbled vocal delivery.

"After John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Fats Domino and his partner Dave Bartholomew were probably the greatest team of songwriters ever" - Dr. John.

"One of my musical heroes and main inspirations" - Elton John.

"My earliest influence in music comes from Fats Domino" - Bob Marley.

"The first record I ever bought was Fats Domino's 'Sick & Tired'." – Lee "Scratch" Perry, a song that is widely believed to have inspired the entire reggae-sound.

"The pioneer" - Questlove (The Roots).

"He's marvelous" - John Lennon, upon meeting Domino, one of his idols, in 1964.

"Fats made things his own. Even on little frothy tunes whipped up in the studio, the phrasing and delivery was always Fats. It's an amazing singularity I think most artists would die for. That amazing uniqueness." - Cosimo Matassa, owner and operator of J&M Studio, where Domino cut most of his hits.

"The man who proved piano was a rock 'n' roll instrument" - Billy Joel, upon inducting Domino into the first class of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame.

"Domino is so consistently innovative and infectious that (his music) never grows tiresome" - Bill Dahl (

"I heard (Fats Domino's debut record) 'The Fat Man' and went 'Oh My God!'" - Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground, on the record and artist that first inspired him to rock.

"(Domino's) 'The Fat Man' should be considered a rock 'n' roll standard." - John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

"The first 45 RPM record I ever bought was 'Going To the River' (a #1 hit in 1953) by Fats Domino. That was one of the first rock 'n' roll records I heard." - Jerry Allison, drummer for Buddy Holly & The Crickets.

"One of the greatest artists who ever lived. I think Fats is a genius" - Lloyd Price, Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Famer.

"The first song I learned was 'Ain't That A Shame' by Fats Domino" - John Lennon, on his musical education.

"Ain't That A Shame is one of the most characteristic of his style that never rocked harder than it needed to, but never relented a whit either. The piano communicates so much joy, (yet) it never drowns out the sadness of the lyric in its own sweetness... carrying the weight of that contradiction without ever resolving it" - Dave Marsh, rock critic.

"You don't know what he meant to us!" - Al Jardine of The Beach Boys on Domino's influence on the group.

"All of Fats music had a heck of a groove to it... People use the expression a lot, 'one of a kind', but he definitely is one of a kind" – Ellis Marsalis

"One of the founding fathers of Rock 'n' Roll... It's music that just gets better with time... his recorded legacy will forever guarantee his place among popular music's immortals." - Tony Rounce (Ace Records)

"Fats Domino's music got to my soul, I loved all of his records. He's gotta be one of the greatest singers of all-time." - Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, on a prime inspiration.

"(Domino's) 'I'm In Love Again was the first rock 'n' roll record I ever heard." - George Harrison.

"I've been influenced by everyone from Benny Goodman on: Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Fats Domino" - Bruce Springsteen.

"In the white honky tonks where I was playing they were punching 'Blueberry Hill' (on the jukebox) and white cats were dancin' to Fats Domino." – Carl Perkins, on the cross-cultural appeal of Domino at the peak of both of their careers in 1956.

"(The first record I ever bought) was 'Blueberry Hill' by Fats Domino." – Emmylou Harris.

"Listening to Autry's original version shows just how thin and bland the original material was. Somehow, Domino managed to make a cheesy, throwaway love song into a cornerstone of rock and roll." - David A. Graham (The Atlantic) on Domino's transformation of "Blueberry Hill"

"His records jump out of the speakers and demand you feel good... his piano was a party-making machine... his feel was infectious. Fats was pure joy." - Adam Weiner (Low Cut Connie)

"(Domino's recording of) 'Blue Monday' is as close to perfection as one can imagine. The eight-bar sax break is a gem of almost frightening economy." - Hank Davis, writer, on Domino's own favorite recording, his unrivaled band and specifically sax player's Herb Hardesty's contribution to their sound.

"Fats band was tighter than wallpaper is to paint!" - Harold Winley, bass singer for the Clovers, a group who rivaled Domino's massive popularity in the early to mid-50's with 19 Top Ten R&B Hits of their own.

"It made you want to move. There was nothing you could do, you HAD to move!" - Ruth Brown, Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Famer, on the effect Domino's music had on listeners.

"Walking To New Orleans is an anomoly within Domino's career which demonstrates even more reasons for his success. It's (his) one slow, heavily orchestrated number... the lyric drips blues... Fats never seemed more disarming than when most mournful" - Dave Marsh, rock critic.

"It was revolutionary" - Famed Cleveland DJ, Bill Randle, on Domino's crossing over from strictly black audiences to integrated crowds at early to mid 50's concerts in the city, making him the first black artist to consistantly appeal to white listeners with rock 'n' roll.

"Earth shattering" - Jerry Wexler, legendary Atlantic Records producer, on the legacy of Domino's music.

"Domino's reputation rivals that of Elvis Presley with rock 'n' roll fans" - TIME magazine, 1957.

"Fats Domino is the REAL King Of Rock 'n' Roll" - Elvis Presley, 1969, when asked about holding the mythical title himself.

"Well, I wouldn't want to say that I started it (rock 'n' roll), but I don't remember anyone else before me playing that kind of stuff." - Fats Domino.

Blue Monday: Fats Domino and The Lost Dawn Of Rock 'n Roll
Blue Monday: Fats Domino and The Lost Dawn Of Rock 'n Roll - book
An essential work, bringing to life one of the all-time rock immortals, a notoriously media-shy, reserved figure whose modern stature has long been deserving of far more illumination. In the process Coleman also brilliantly examines the rise of rock itself from its birth in late 40's New Orleans to its role in helping it take over mainstream America in the mid-50's upon which it soon transformed the world. The patronizing image of Fats as a harmless cuddly figure that so many would-be historians have saddled Domino's legacy with gets a much needed revision as he shows the extent to which Domino, far more than any other 50's artist, Elvis included, smashed down the racial boundaries of the rock audiences at the time, resulting in threats and a string of riots at his concerts, but ultimately leading to integration and acceptance. A rich, vibrant and well-rounded history lesson and a riveting read that assures Domino's place among the immortals is secure.

Winner Of Down Beat magazine inaugural "Personality of The Year"; 1956.

"Ain't That A Shame" BMI Music Achievement Award; 1972

Inducted in the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame; 1986.

Domino's recording of "Blueberry Hill" is named to the Grammy Hall Of Fame; 1987.

Earns Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 1987.

Earns Rhythm & Blues Lifetime Achievement Award; 1995.

"Blueberry Hill" named the 13th greatest jukebox hit of all-time, 1996.

"Blueberry Hill" is ranked by the National Endowment For The Arts as the 18th Greatest Song Of The 20th Century.

Awarded Presidental National Medal Of The Arts, 1998.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame; 1998.

"Ain't That A Shame" is named as one of the hundred greatest songs of the 20th Century by National Public Radio; 1999.

"Ain't That A Shame" is named to the Grammy Hall Of Fame; 2002.

"Blueberry Hill" is named to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, 2005.

In 2007 Domino is awarded the Recording Association Of America's "Music Legend" designation, becoming only the second artist ever to receive this honor.

"Walking To New Orleans" is named to the Grammy Hall Of Fame; 2011

"The Fat Man" is named to the Grammy Hall Of Fame; 2016

PLACEMENT ON DDD LISTS (as of 01/2008):
Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of the 50s - # 2
Most Influential Rock 'n' Roll Artists - # 18
Greatest Rock Artists - # 28

Songs by Fats Domino are featured on several DDD song lists,
including "Blueberry Hill" at # 31 on the "100 Greatest Rock Songs of the 50s" list.

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