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Fats Domino: Rock and Roll the New Orleans Way

In addition to classics such as Ain’t That a Shame (above) and Blueberry Hill (below), Domino had hits such as Blue Monday, I’m Walkin’ and Walking to New Orleans. 

Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino Jr. (born February 26, 1928) is an American R&B and rock and roll pianist and singer-songwriter. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. Domino is French Creole and Creole was his first language. Domino was delivered at home by his midwife grandmother. Like most families in the Lower Ninth Ward, Domino’s family were new arrivals from Vacherie, Louisiana.[1] His father was a well known violinist, and Domino was inspired to play himself. He eventually learned from his uncle, jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett.[2] Fats released five gold (million-copy-selling) records before 1955.[2] Domino also had 35 Top 40 American hits and has a music style based on traditional R&B ensembles of bass, piano, electric guitar, drums, and saxophone.[2] (Continue Reading…)

Domino–who stayed in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina–was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Here is the start of his bio:

Fats Domino may not have been the most flamboyant rock and roller of the Fifties, but he was certainly the figure most rooted in the worlds of blues, rhythm & blues and the various strains of jazz that gave rise to rock and roll. With his boogie-woogie piano playing and drawling, Creole-inflected vocals, Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. help put his native New Orleans on the map during the early rock and roll era. He was, in fact, a key figure in the transition from rhythm & blues to rock and roll – a transition so subtle, especially in his case, that the line between these two nominally different forms of music blurred to insignificance.

 

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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