FATS DOMINO–“Rock and Roll Legend”

Hello,  Born Antoine Domino on February 26, 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He became known to millions of fans as “Fats Domino”.  Stories about his nickname claim he began being called Fats after his 1949 million-seller “THE FAT MAN” on Imperial Records.  He is second in record sales in the 1950’s, with over 65 million records sold, to only Elvis Presley.  He had a dozen Top 10 R&B hits between 1950-55.  Fats not only could sing the hits but he also wrote them and is well-known for his piano stylings.  Fats can also be heard on other R&B artists recordings, such as Lloyd Price, Big Joe Turner and others.

On July 16, 1955 his first Billboard Top 100 hit of the rock and roll era made its chart debut.  “AIN’T THAT A SHAME” on the Imperial Records label also became the first Top 10 hit of the rock era for Fats.  “Ain’t That A Shame” peaked at #10 and had a run of 13 weeks on the Top 100.  In April of 1956 “I’M IN LOVE AGAIN” became his second Top 10 as it reached #3 on the chart.  Both “Ain’t That A Shame”, (11 weeks) and “I’m In Love Again”, (9 weeks), were #1 R&B hits.

The record that brought him international fame was his 1956 recording of an old Gene Autry and Louis Armstrong song, “BLUEBERRY HILL”.  His recording of this classic hit sold 5 million copies world-wide.  It peaked at #2 in America and held the #2 spot on the Top 100 for 3 weeks.  “Blueberry Hill” topped the R&B chart for 11 weeks.  Fats recording  won a Hall of Fame, Grammy Award and is in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.  Remember Ritchie Cunningham on the TV series “Happy Days” singing “Blueberry Hill” if he thought he was going to get lucky with a lady?

Fats Domino continued to have hit after hit in the ’50.  Here are the biggest ones:  BLUE MONDAY-#5 (#1R&B)1957…..I’M WALKIN’-#4(#1R&B)1957…..IT’S YOU I LOVE-#6, 1957…..VALLEY OF TEARS, (this is a great bluesy song)#8, 1957…..WHOLE LOTTA LOVING-6, 1958…..I WANT TO WALK YOU HOME-#8(#1R&B)1959…..BE MY GUEST-#8, 1959…..the songs mentioned are all Top 10 hits, there were 8 more that were Top 40.

On June 20, 1960 “WALKING TO NEW ORLEANS” made its Billboard Hot 100 debut and quickly climbed up the chart to #6.  It would be his last Top 10 hit but not by far his last hit.  In the 1960’s on Imperial records Fats would have 13 more Top 40 hit records.  Here are a few of them:  DON’T COME KNOCKIN’-#21, 1960…..THREE NIGHTS A WEEK-#15, 1960…..MY GIRL JOSEPHINE-#14, 1960…..LET THE FOUR WINDS BLOW-#15, 1961.  In 1963 Fats would leave his long time record label (Imperial) for ABC-Paramount Records where he would record some very good sides but would not have the great chart success he had on Imperial.  Only “RED SAILS IN THE SUNSET” in 1963 would become a Top 40 hit, reaching #35 on the Hot 100.  His ABC-Paramount records were in great demand by collectors for years and finally became available in the 1990’s.

In 1968 Fats charted his last Hot 100 hit, a cover of the Beatles classic, “LADY MADONNA” on the Reprise Records label.  Fats version charted at #100.  He has continued to record and tour.  In 2006 he released the album ALIVE & KICKIN’, a great album that matches anything he has done in the past.  In 2007 he was still making concert appearances to full houses.

Fats Domino is an American rock and roll/R&B legend, with 77 Billboard charted hits between 1955 and 1968.  He is listed by Joel Whitburn’s “Record Research” as the #4 artist of the 1950’s, #33 of the 1960’s and #23 All-Time.  He was awarded “American Music Legend” by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and was awarded a Grammy for “Lifetime Achievement” in 1987.  In 1986 he was inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”.  He is for certain, one of the greatest music legends of all-time, the great Antoine “Fats” Domino.

Till the next time—Joe 

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