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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Also that year Billboard charted rock influences from such diverse sounds as Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Gene Vincent, Elvis, Bill Haley and Little Richard.
|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 non singing or vocally impaired pre-teen I loved Fats 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 you younger folks will take just a few minutes and enjoy his music. It's timeless.