Fats Domino
Fats Domino

Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), generally known as Fat Domino, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of many pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino offered greater than 65 million data.[2] Born in New Orleans to a French Creole household, Domino signed to Imperial Information in 1949. His first single “The Fats Man” is cited by some historians as the primary rock and roll single and the primary to promote greater than 1 million copies.[3][4] Domino continued to work with the music’s co-writer Dave Bartholomew, contributing his distinctive rolling piano type to Lloyd Value’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (1952) and scoring a string of mainstream hits starting with “Ain’t {That a} Disgrace” (1955). Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven High 10 US pop hits.[5] By 1955, 5 of his data had offered greater than one million copies, being licensed gold.[6]

Domino was shy and modest by nature however made a major contribution to the rock and roll style.[7] Elvis Presley declared Domino a “enormous affect on me after I began out” and described him as “the actual king of rock ‘n’ roll”.[8][9] The artist himself didn’t outline his work as rock and roll, saying of the style “It wasn’t something however the identical rhythm and blues I might been taking part in down in New Orleans”. 4 of Domino’s data had been named to the Grammy Corridor of Fame for his or her significance: “Blueberry Hill”, “Ain’t That A Disgrace”, “Strolling to New Orleans” and “The Fats Man”.[3] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame as a part of its first group of inductees in 1986. The Related Press estimates that in his profession, Domino “offered greater than 110 million data”.[10]


Youth and training

Antoine Domino Jr. was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of eight youngsters born to Antoine Caliste Domino (1879–1964) and Marie-Donatille Gros (1886–1971). The Domino household was of French Creole background, and Louisiana Creole was his first language.[11] Like most such households, the Dominos had been Catholic.[12]

Antoine was born at residence with the help of his grandmother, a midwife. His title was initially misspelled as Anthony on his start certificates.[13] His household had not too long ago arrived within the Decrease Ninth Ward from Vacherie, Louisiana.[14] His father was a part-time violin participant who labored at a racetrack.[15][16]

He attended the Louis B. Macarty College, leaving to begin work as a helper to an ice supply man.[17] Domino discovered to play the piano in about 1938 from his brother-in-law,[18] the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett.[6][19]

Early profession (Forties)

By age 14, Domino was performing in New Orleans bars.[5][20] In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invite to listen to the younger pianist carry out at a yard barbecue. Domino performed properly sufficient that Diamond requested him to hitch his band, the Stable Senders, on the Hideaway Membership in New Orleans, the place he would earn $3 every week taking part in the piano.[16] Diamond nicknamed him “Fat”, as a result of Domino reminded him of the famend pianists Fat Waller and Fat Pichon, but in addition due to his massive urge for food.[21][5]

Recordings for Imperial Information (1949–1962)

Domino was signed to the Imperial Information label in 1949 by proprietor Lew Chudd, to be paid royalties based mostly on gross sales as a substitute of a payment for every music. He and producer Dave Bartholomew wrote “The Fats Man”, a toned down model of a music about drug addicts known as “Junker Blues”; the report had offered one million copies by 1951.[17] That includes a rolling piano and Domino vocalizing “wah-wah” over a powerful backbeat, “The Fats Man” is broadly thought of the primary rock-and-roll report to realize this stage of gross sales.[22][23] In 2015, the music would enter the Grammy Corridor of Fame.[18]

Domino launched a sequence of hit songs with Bartholomew (additionally the co-writer of lots of the songs), the saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin “Crimson” Tyler, the bassist Billy Diamond and later Frank Fields, and the drummers Earl Palmer and Smokey Johnson. Different notable and long-standing musicians in Domino’s band had been the saxophonists Reggie Houston,[24] Lee Allen,[25] and Fred Kemp, Domino’s trusted bandleader.[26]

Domino singing “Blueberry Hill” on The Ed Sullivan Present in 1956

Whereas Domino’s personal recordings had been accomplished for Imperial, he generally sat in throughout that point as a session musician on recordings by different artists for different report labels. Domino’s rolling piano triplets supplied the memorable instrumental introduction for Lloyd Value’s first hit, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, recorded for Specialty Information on March 13, 1952, at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios in New Orleans (the place Domino himself had earlier recorded “The Fats Man” and different songs). Dave Bartholomew was producing Value’s report, which additionally featured acquainted Domino collaborators Hardesty, Fields and Palmer as sidemen, and he requested Domino to play the piano half, changing the unique session pianist.[27]

Domino crossed into the pop mainstream with “Ain’t {That a} Disgrace” (mislabeled as “Ain’t It a Disgrace”) which reached the High Ten. This was the primary of his data to look on the Billboard pop singles chart (on July 16, 1955), with the debut at quantity 14.[28] A milder cowl model by Pat Boone reached no 1,[29] having acquired wider radio airplay in an period of racial segregation. In 1955, Domino was mentioned to be incomes $10,000 every week whereas touring, in keeping with a report within the memoir of artist Chuck Berry. Domino ultimately had 37 High 40 singles, however none made it to no 1 on the Pop chart.[5]

Domino’s debut album contained a number of of his current hits and earlier blues tracks that had not been launched as singles, and was issued on the Imperial label (catalogue quantity 9009) in November 1955, and was reissued as Rock and Rollin’ with Fat Domino.[30] The reissue reached quantity 17 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.[31]

His 1956 recording of “Blueberry Hill”, a 1940 music by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Inventory (which had beforehand been recorded by Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong and others), reached quantity 2 on the Billboard Juke Field chart for 2 weeks[32] and was no 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks. It was his greatest hit,[29] promoting greater than 5 million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957. The music was subsequently recorded by Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Led Zeppelin.[33] Some 32 years later, the music would enter the
Grammy Corridor of Fame.[18]

Domino had additional hit singles between 1956 and 1959, together with “When My Dreamboat Comes House” (Pop quantity 14), “I am Walkin'” (Pop quantity 4), “Valley of Tears” (Pop quantity 8), “It is You I Love” (Pop quantity 6), “Complete Lotta Lovin'” (Pop quantity 6), “I Need to Stroll You House” (Pop quantity 8), and “Be My Visitor” (Pop quantity 8).[34] In 1957, Domino maintained “What they name rock ‘n’ roll now’s rhythm and blues. I have been taking part in it for 15 years in New Orleans”.[35][8]

Domino appeared in two movies launched in 1956: Shake, Rattle & Rock![36] and The Lady Cannot Assist It.[37] On December 18, 1957, his hit recording of “The Large Beat” was featured on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
He was additionally featured in a film of the identical title.[38]

On November 2, 1956, a riot broke out at a Domino live performance in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The police used tear gasoline to interrupt up the unruly crowd. Domino jumped out a window to keep away from the melee; he and two members of his band had been barely injured.[39] Throughout his profession, 4 main riots occurred at his concert events, “partly due to integration”, in keeping with his biographer Rick Coleman. “But additionally the actual fact they’d alcohol at these exhibits. In order that they had been mixing alcohol, plus dancing, plus the races collectively for the primary time in a variety of these locations.”[40] In November 1957, Domino appeared on The Ed Sullivan Present; no disturbance accompanied this efficiency.[41]

In the identical 12 months, the article “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in Ebony journal featured Domino who mentioned he was on the highway 340 days a 12 months, as much as $2,500 per night, and grossing over $500,000; Domino additionally instructed readers that he owned 50 fits, 100 pairs of sneakers and a $1,500 diamond horseshoe stick pin.[32]

Domino had a gradual sequence of hits for Imperial by way of early 1962, together with “Strolling to New Orleans” (1960, Pop quantity 6), co-written by Bobby Charles, and “My Lady Josephine” (Pop quantity 14) in the identical 12 months. He toured Europe in 1962 and met The Beatles who would later cite Domino as an inspiration.[42] After returning, he performed the primary of his many stands in Las Vegas.[18]

Imperial Information was offered in early 1963,[43] and Domino left the label. “I caught with them till they offered out,” he mentioned in 1979. In all, he recorded over 60 singles for Imperial, putting 40 songs within the high 10 on the R&B chart and 11 within the high 10 on the Pop chart, twenty-seven of which had been double-sided hits.[44]

Recordings after leaving Imperial (1963–Nineteen Seventies)

Domino in 1972

Domino moved to ABC-Paramount Information in 1963. The label dictated that he report in Nashville, Tennessee, reasonably than New Orleans. He was assigned a brand new producer (Felton Jarvis) and a brand new arranger (Invoice Justis). Domino’s long-term collaboration with the producer, arranger, and frequent co-writer Dave Bartholomew, who oversaw nearly all of his Imperial hits,[45] was seemingly at an finish. Jarvis and Justis modified the Domino sound considerably, notably by including the backing of a countrypolitan-style vocal refrain to most of his new recordings. He launched 11 singles for ABC-Paramount, a number of which hit the High 100 however simply as soon as getting into the High 40 (“Crimson Sails within the Sundown”, 1963). By the top of 1964 the British Invasion had modified the tastes of the record-buying public, and Domino’s chart run was over.[46]

Regardless of the dearth of chart success, Domino continued to report steadily till about 1970, leaving ABC-Paramount in mid-1965 and recording for Mercury Information, the place he delivered a dwell album and two singles. A studio album was deliberate however stalled with simply 4 tracks recorded. Dave Bartholomew’s small Broadmoor label (reuniting with Bartholomew alongside the best way), featured many modern Soul infused sides and some single releases however an album was not launched abroad till 1971 to meet his Reprise Information contract. He shifted to that label after Broadmoor and had a High 100 single, a canopy of The Beatles’ “Woman Madonna”.[17]

Domino appeared within the Monkees’ tv particular 33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee in 1969. In 1971, he opened for Ike & Tina Turner at Carnegie Corridor.[47] He continued to be widespread as a performer for a number of a long time. He made a cameo look in Clint Eastwood’s film Any Which Manner You Can, filmed in 1979 and launched in 1980, singing the nation music “Whiskey Heaven”, which later grew to become a minor hit.[18][48] His life and profession had been showcased in Joe Lauro’s 2015 documentary The Large Beat: Fat Domino and the Delivery of Rock ‘n’ Roll.[49]

Later profession (Eighties–2005)

Domino performing in New York within the Eighties

In 1986, Domino was one of many first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame.[50][17] He additionally acquired the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.[2] Domino’s final album for a significant label, Christmas Is a Particular Day, was launched in 1993.[51]

Domino lived in a mansion in a predominantly working-class neighborhood within the Decrease Ninth Ward, the place he was a well-recognized sight in his vibrant pink Cadillac car. He made yearly appearances on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Pageant and different native occasions.

His final tour was in Europe, for 3 weeks in 1995.[52] After being ailing whereas on tour, Domino determined he would now not depart the New Orleans space, having a snug revenue from royalty funds and a dislike of touring and claiming he couldn’t get any meals that he preferred anyplace else.[53] In the identical 12 months, he acquired the Rhythm & Blues Basis’s Ray Charles Lifetime Achievement Award.[18]

In 1998, President Invoice Clinton awarded him the Nationwide Medal of Arts.[54][55] Domino declined an invite to carry out on the White Home.[53]

In 2004, Rolling Stone journal ranked him quantity 25 on its checklist of the “100 Biggest Artists of All Time” in an essay written by Dr. John.[56]

Domino and Hurricane Katrina

Graffiti on Domino’s residence from the time he was rumored useless within the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005)

As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in August 2005, Domino selected to remain at residence along with his household, partly as a result of his spouse, Rosemary, was unwell. His home was in an space that was closely flooded.

Domino’s workplace, June 2007

Domino was rumored to have died,[57] and his residence was vandalized when somebody spray-painted the message “RIP Fat. You’ll be missed”. On September 1, the expertise agent Al Embry introduced that he had not heard from Domino since earlier than the hurricane struck. Later that day, CNN reported that Domino had been rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. Till then, even members of the family had not heard from him since earlier than the storm.[58] Embry confirmed that Domino and his household had been rescued. The household was then taken to a shelter in Baton Rouge, after which they had been picked up by JaMarcus Russell, the beginning quarterback of the Louisiana State College soccer staff, and the boyfriend of Domino’s granddaughter. He let the household keep in his house. The Washington Put up reported that on September 2, they’d left Russell’s house after sleeping three nights on the sofa. “We have misplaced every little thing,” Domino mentioned, in keeping with the Put up.[59]

By January 2006, work to intestine and restore Domino’s residence and workplace had begun (see Reconstruction of New Orleans). Within the meantime, the Domino household resided in Harvey, Louisiana.[60]

President George W. Bush made a private go to and changed the Nationwide Medal of Arts that President Invoice Clinton had beforehand awarded Domino.[61] The gold data had been changed by the RIAA and Capitol Information, which owned the Imperial Information catalogue.[62]

Later life

Domino was scheduled to carry out on the 2006 Jazz & Heritage Pageant in New Orleans. Nevertheless, he was affected by nervousness and was pressured to cancel the efficiency,[63] however he did seem to supply the viewers an on-stage greeting.[64]

In 2006 Domino’s album Alive and Kickin’ was launched to profit the Tipitina’s Basis, which helps indigent native musicians and helps protect the New Orleans sound.[65][66] The album consists of unreleased recordings from the Nineteen Nineties[67] and acquired nice essential acclaim.[68]

Domino (age 78) with the Nationwide Medal of Arts changed by President George W. Bush on August 29, 2006, after the unique medal, awarded to him by President Invoice Clinton, was misplaced within the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.

On January 12, 2007, Domino was honored with OffBeat journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award on the annual Better of the Beat Awards, held on the Home of Blues in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared the day “Fat Domino Day in New Orleans” and offered him with a signed declaration.[69] Domino returned to stage on Could 19, 2007, at Tipitina’s at New Orleans, performing to a full home. This was his final public efficiency.[18] The live performance was recorded for a 2008 TV presentation entitled Fat Domino: Walkin’ Again to New Orleans.[63] This was a fund-raising live performance, that includes quite a few artists. Domino donated his payment to the trigger. Later that 12 months, a Vanguard report was launched, Goin’ House: A Tribute to Fat Domino that includes his songs as recorded by Elton John, Neil Younger, Tom Petty, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, and Lucinda Williams.[5] A portion of the proceeds was for use by the Basis to assist restore Domino’s publishing workplace which had been broken by the hurricane.[70]

In September 2007, Domino was inducted into the Louisiana Music Corridor of Fame.[71][72]

In Could 2009, Domino made an surprising look within the viewers for the Domino Impact, a live performance that includes Little Richard and different artists, geared toward elevating funds to assist rebuild colleges and playgrounds broken by Hurricane Katrina.[73]

In October 2012, Domino was featured in season three of the tv sequence Treme, taking part in himself.[18] On August 21, 2016, Domino was inducted into the Nationwide Rhythm and Blues Corridor of Fame. The ceremony was held in Detroit, Michigan. The opposite inductees had been Dionne Warwick, Cathy Hughes, Smokey Robinson, Prince, and the Supremes. He had acquired the Rhythm & Blues Basis’s Ray Charles Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His music “The Fats Man” entered the Grammy Corridor of Fame in 2015.[74]


Domino died on October 24, 2017, at his residence in Harvey, Louisiana, on the age of 89, from pure causes, in keeping with the coroner’s workplace.[75][76][77]

Affect and legacy

Domino was one of many greatest stars of rock and roll within the Fifties, however he was not satisfied that this was a brand new style. In 1957, Domino mentioned: “What they name rock ‘n’ roll now’s rhythm and blues. I have been taking part in it for 15 years in New Orleans”.[78] In line with Rolling Stone, “it is a legitimate assertion … all Fifties rockers, black and white, nation born and metropolis bred, had been basically influenced by R&B, the black widespread music of the late Forties and early Fifties”.[79]

He was among the many first R&B artists to realize recognition with white audiences. His biographer Rick Coleman argues that Domino’s data and excursions with rock-and-roll exhibits in that decade, bringing collectively black and white youths in a shared appreciation of his music, was an element within the breakdown of racial segregation in the US.[80] The artist himself didn’t outline his work as rock and roll, saying, “It wasn’t something however the identical rhythm and blues I might been playin’ down in New Orleans.”[81]

Each John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded Domino songs. In line with some stories, McCartney wrote The Beatles music “Woman Madonna” in emulation of Domino’s type,[82] combining it with a nod to Humphrey Lyttelton’s 1956 hit “Dangerous Penny Blues”. Domino additionally recorded the music in 1968.[5] Domino returned to the “Sizzling 100” chart for the final time in 1968, along with his recording of “Woman Madonna”.[16] That recording, in addition to covers of two different songs by The Beatles, appeared on his Reprise album Fat Is Again, produced by Richard Perry and with a number of hits recorded by a band that included the New Orleans pianist James Booker.[83]

Domino was current within the viewers of two,200 folks at Elvis Presley’s first live performance on the Las Vegas Hilton on July 31, 1969. At a press convention after the present, when a journalist referred to Presley as “The King”, Presley gestured towards Domino, who was taking within the scene. “No,” Presley mentioned, “that is the actual king of rock and roll.”[84] Presley made a subsequent remark, “rock ‘n’ roll was right here a very long time earlier than I got here alongside. Let’s face it: I can not sing like Fat Domino can. I do know that” and added that Domino was “an enormous affect on me after I began out”.[85]

A couple of {photograph} product of him and Elvis collectively, Domino mentioned: “Elvis instructed me he flopped the primary time he got here to Las Vegas. I liked his music. He may sing something … I am glad we took this image.” (Fat Domino (2002). “Music Pioneer Fat Domino Talks About Elvis.” Retrieved from “USA At present.” December 10, 2002.)

Domino acquired a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.[3]

John Lennon lined Domino’s composition “Ain’t {That a} Disgrace” on his 1975 album “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” his tribute to the musicians who had influenced him.

American band Low cost Trick recorded “Ain’t {That a} Disgrace” on their 1978 dwell album Low cost Trick at Budokan and launched it because the second single from the album. It reached 35 of the Billboard Sizzling 100. Reportedly, this was Domino’s favourite cowl.[86] It stays a staple of their dwell performances, together with at their twenty fifth Anniversary live performance (which was recorded because the album and DVD Silver) and at their induction into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in 2016.[87]

The Jamaican reggae artist Yellowman lined many songs by Domino, together with “Be My Visitor” and “Blueberry Hill.”[88]

Jah Wobble, a post-punk bassist greatest identified for his work with Johnny Rotten, launched a solo recording of “Blueberry Hill”.[89]

The Jamaican ska band Justin Hinds and the Dominoes, fashioned within the Nineteen Sixties, was named after Domino, Hinds’s favourite singer.[90]

In 2007, varied artists got here collectively for a tribute to Domino, recording a dwell session containing solely his songs. Musicians acting on the album, Goin’ House: A Tribute to Fat Domino, included Paul McCartney, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Neil Younger, and Elton John.[91]

In line with Richie Unterberger, writing for AllMusic, Domino was one of the constant artists of early rock music, the best-selling African-American rock-and-roll star of the Fifties, and the most well-liked singer of the “basic” New Orleans rhythm and blues type. His million-selling debut single, “The Fats Man” (1949), is certainly one of many which were cited as the primary rock and roll report.[92] Robert Christgau wrote that Domino was “essentially the most broadly preferred rock and curler of the ’50s” and remarked on his affect:

Heat and unthreatening even by the intensely congenial requirements of New Orleans, he is remembered with fond condescension as considerably much less revolutionary than his uncommercial compatriots Professor Longhair and James Booker. However although his bouncy boogie-woogie piano and simple Creole gait had been generically Ninth Ward, they outlined a pop-friendly second-line beat that no person knew was there earlier than he and Dave Bartholomew created ‘The Fats Man’ in 1949. In brief, this shy, deferential, uncharismatic man invented New Orleans rock and roll.[93]

Domino’s rhythm, accentuating the offbeat, as within the music “Be My Visitor”, was an affect on ska music.[94]

Private life

Domino was married to Rosemary Domino (née Corridor) from 1947 till her loss of life in 2008; the couple had eight youngsters: Antoine III (1950-2015), Anatole, Andre (1952-1997), Antonio, Antoinette, Andrea, Anola, and Adonica.[7][95]

Even after his success he continued to dwell in his outdated neighborhood, the Decrease Ninth Ward, till after Hurricane Katrina, when he moved to a suburb of New Orleans.[53][96]


  • Fat Domino discography
  • Checklist of songs recorded by Fat Domino

Studio albums

  • Rock and Rollin’ with Fat Domino (1956)
  • Fat Domino Rock and Rollin’ (1956)
  • That is Fat Domino! (1956)
  • Right here Stands Fat Domino (1957)
  • This Is Fat (1957)
  • The Fabulous Mr. D (1958)
  • Let’s Play Fat Domino (1959)
  • Fat Domino Sings Million File Hits (1960)
  • …A Lot Of Dominos! (1960)
  • I Miss You So (1961)
  • Let The 4 Winds Blow (1961)
  • What A Get together! (1961)
  • Twistin’ The Stomp (1962)
  • Simply Domino (1962)
  • Strolling To New Orleans (1963)
  • Let’s Dance With Domino (1963)
  • Right here He Comes Once more! (1963)
  • Right here Comes… Fat Domino (1963)
  • Fat On Fireplace (1964)
  • Getaway With Fat Domino (1965)
  • The Finest Of Fat Domino! (1966)
  • Fat Is Again (1968)
  • Fat (1971)
  • Sleeping On The Job (1979)
  • Christmas Is A Particular Day (1993)
  • Alive and Kickin’ (2006)

  • Official web site Edit this at Wikidata
  • “Fat Domino”. Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame. Edit this at Wikidata
  • Fat Domino at history-of-rock.com
  • Fat Domino: Strolling to New Orleans particular
  • Fat Domino interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  • Fat Domino at Discover a Grave

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