Fats Domino is like New Orleans itself: laid back, prodidgously creative, often copied, and underrated.
Vanguard just released a tribute album featuring Paul McCartney, Elton John, Neil Young, Robert Plant, John Lennon (courtesy of Yoko Ono), Willie Nelson…you get the idea.
The Big Guns of rock and roll know who made the music happen. Fats’ influence deeper than most people realize…
As Rick Coleman quotes in his book. Howard E. Johnson, a member of the Dizzy Gillespie band said: “There was very little dancing (in pop music) until until fats Domino brought back the beat again.”
Think on the enormity of that.
The first song young John Lennon learned to perform was Fats Domino’s “Aint That a Shame.”
Dick Clark: “Fats was not a teen idol, but he was idolized as one of the Founders.”
Elvis Presley to his credit laid it out: “Rock and roll was around a long time before me…I just got on the bandwagon with it.” As a senior at Humes High School in Memphis, Presley bought nearly every 78 Domino issued.
Two sources to take you deeper:
1. A CD: “Going Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino” released a few weeks ago by Vanguard with all proceeds going to the Tipitina musician’s fund.
2. A book: “Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘ Roll” by Rick Coleman just out in paperback. Brilliant biography not only of Fats Domino and the roots of rock and roll, but also of the city and its singular culture.