Rock and Roll “Fats” Domino, Jr. 1949

Fats Domino


New Orleans began it’s contribution to rock and roll early on. Fats was a blast of rhythm and blues mixed with gumbo funk piano. When you throw that into the Memphis and Philadelphia rockabilly your starting to get a true picture of the emerging rock and roll pattern. 

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                    The first rock and roll song ?   1949 The Fat Man

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Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill

Fats also kept the piano front and center in what was quickly becoming a guitar dominated genre. I can’t remember anyone who was not absolutely crazy about the “Fat Man”. Not only was his music fun and easy to like, Antoine Domino had a great stage presence. His infectious smile automatically brought his audience into the song. He looked like he was up there telling us a story and having as much fun as we were. His audience television or live couldn’t help but fall in love with the guy.

The Fat Man, Antoine Domino

As a vocally impaired pre-teen, I loved Fat’s songs because they were typically slow enough for me to sing along. If I turned up the radio far enough no one could hear me and I could pretend I could sing. I will always appreciate Mr. Domino for those few moments of imagined glory.

During Hurricane Katrina, I was concerned for Fats and his family. The television carried reports of his house being in the flood. Worse yet, for a little while they thought he was missing. That story brought the far away flood home to me. Fats personalized the tragedy. 

Look at that ever present smile, Fats Domino

I hope younger folks will take just a few minutes and enjoy his music. It’s timeless. 

Thanks Fats.

John Boykin

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