Friday, May 6, 2011

Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino, Jr.

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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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. 

Thanks Fats.


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