Fats Domino (February 26, 1928 - October 24, 2017) was a singer, songwriter, pianist, and pioneering figure in early rock and roll. One of the top artists of the 1950s, he was famous for his warm, affable vocals and his rolling boogie-woogie piano style as heard in such classics as "I'm Walking," "Ain't It A Shame," and his signature song, "Blueberry Hill."
Born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. in New Orleans, he began playing the piano professionally by the time he was in his teens. Soon after, he became known as "Fats" due to his size and also his similarity to such jazz piano greats as Fats Waller and Fats Pichon. He signed with Imperial Records in 1949 and began his long and fruitful collaboration later that year with bandleader and trumpeter David Bartholomew who produced and co-wrote with Domino many of his top hits beginning with his breakthrough song, "The Fat Man," a hard-driving, boogie-woogie/R&B variation on a traditional New Orleans tune that helped to usher in the rock and roll era.
Domino made his debut on the R&B charts in late 1949 with "The Fat Man" which reached #2 the following year. This groundbreaking song is often cited as one of a number of candidates for being the first-ever rock and roll record. A long string of hits on both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts followed that also included such rock and roll standards as "Ain't It A Shame" (1955 a.k.a. "Ain't That A Shame"), "I'm In Love Again" (1956), "Blueberry Hill" (1956), "Blue Monday" (1957), "I'm Walkin'" (1957), "It's You I Love" (1957), "Valley Of Tears" (1957), "Whole Lotta Loving" (1958), "I Want To Walk You Home" (1959), "Be My Guest" (1959), and "Walking To New Orleans" (1960). Fittingly, his last chart entry was a 1968 cover of The Beatles' "Lady Madonna," a song that stylistically pays homage to Domino with its boogie-woogie piano baseline.
As one of a handful of major early influences in rock and roll, Domino became one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its prestigious 1986 inaugural class. He was honored in 1987 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and four of his songs entered the Grammy Hall of Fame: "Blueberry Hill" (1987), "Walking To New Orleans" (2011), "Ain't It A Shame" (2002), and "The Fat Man" (2016). In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts, and in 2004, Domino was ranked at number 25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Artists Of All Time."
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- Ain't That Just Like A Woman 1961
- Country Boy 1960
- Don't Come Knockin' 1960
- Fell In Love On Monday 1961
- It Keeps Rainin' 1961
- Jambalaya (On The Bayou) 1961
(This song previously topped the Country charts for Hank Williams (1952) and also became a hit for Bobby Comstock (1960), the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1972) and the Blue Ridge Rangers (1972). "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)" has also been covered by many other bands and artists over the years.)
- Let The Four Winds Blow 1961
(This song was previously a hit for Roy Brown (1957).)
- My Girl Josephine 1960
(This song later also became a hit for Jerry Jaye (1967).)
- Natural Born Lover 1960
- Shu Rah 1961
- Three Nights A Week 1960
- Walking To New Orleans 1960
- What A Party 1961
- What A Price 1961
- You Win Again 1962
(This song was previously a hit for Hank Williams (1952), the Paulette Sisters (1955) and Jerry Lee Lewis (1958).)
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