b. Antoine Dominique Domino Jnr., 26th February 1928, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 24th October 2017, Harvey, Louisiana, U.S.A.
The pianist and singer-songwriter, Fats Domino, has died. He was 89.
Fats died at his home in Harvey, Louisiana after a long-term illness.
He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the eighth and last child of Antoine Caliste Domino and Marie-Donatille Gros.
Fats spoke French as his first language, with the family being of a French Creole background.
He was initially christened ‘Anthony’ on his birth certificate, which was later changed.
Fats' father was a violinist.
He learned the piano from his brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett.
with the billy diamond band
In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, went to hear the young pianist perform at a barbecue.
Fats joined his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club, in New Orleans.
It was Diamond who nicknamed him ‘Fats’, due to a vague resemblance to Fats Waller.
Fats’ first recording, ‘The Fat Man’, was recorded in 1949 for Imperial Records.
The song sold one million copies by 1953.
He went on to release a series of hit sides with the producer Dave Bartholomew.
Fats’ group comprised of Herbert Hardesty (saxophone) and Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler (saxophone), Frank Fields (bass), and Earl Palmer (drums) and Smokey Johnson (drums).
He went on to release ‘Ain't That a Shame’ (in 1955), which was followed by 37, further, Top 40 singles.
rock and rollin - 1956 / this is fats domino! - 1956 / this is fats - 1957 / here stands fats domino - 1957
In 1955, Fats released his debut album ‘Carry On Rockin’, later reissued as ‘Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino’ in 1956.
The album reached number 17 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
In 1956, Fats released ‘Blueberry Hill’, a 1940 song by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock.
The single reached number 2 in the Top 40 and was number 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks.
It went on to sell more than 5 million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957.
Further singles followed between 1956 and 1959.
the fabulous mr. d - 1958 / fats domino swings - 1959 / let's play fats domino - 1959 / a lot of domino's - 1960
These included ‘When My Dreamboat Comes Home’ (number 14), ‘I’m Walkin’ (number 4), ‘Valley of Tears’ (number 8), ‘It's You I Love’ (number 6), ‘Whole Lotta Loving’ (number 6), ‘I Want to Walk You Home’ (number 8), and ‘Be My Guest’ (number 8).
Fats went on to appear in a couple of movies, which were ‘Shake, Rattle & Rock!’ and ‘The Girl Can't Help It’.
He went on to release a series of hits for the Imperial Records imprint in 1962.
These included ‘Walking' to New Orleans’ (in 1960), (co-written by Bobby Charles), and ‘My Girl Josephine’ (in 1960).
After Imperial Records was sold in 1963, Fats left the label.
He recorded over 60 singles for the label.
let the four winds blow - 1961 / twistin' the stomp - 1962 / here comes fats domino - 1963 / that's fats - 1964
Fats signed to the ABC-Paramount Records imprint in 1963.
He was asked by the label to record in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fats was teamed up with the producer Felton Jarvis and the arranger Bill Justis.
The new team changed the ‘Domino sound’, changing the vocal arrangement to his new recordings.
Fats released 11 singles for ABC-Paramount , including ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’ in 1963).
By 1964, the new British Invasion had changed the buying habits of the public, and Fats’ success was put on hold.
He continued to record up until1970.
Fats left the ABC-Paramount in 1965 and signed to Mercury Records.
getaway with fats domino - 1965 / fats domino - 1966 / stompin' - 1967 / my blue heaven - 1968
He then signed to Dave Bartholomew's Broadmoor label (re-uniting the two).
Fats then released a cover of the Beatles' ‘Lady Madonna’.
He made appearances on the Monkee’s television show, and appeared in the movie ‘Any Which Way You Can’, in 1979.
when i'm walkin' - 1969 / fats - 1971 / when my dreamboat comes home - 1973 / sleeping on the job - 1979
By the Eighties, Fats decided he wanted to live in New Orleans, residing in a working-class neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Fats appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
He toured Europe in 1995, and in 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed him at number 25 on its list of the ‘100 Greatest Artists of All Time’.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit, and Fats chose to stay at home with his family.
His house was in an area that was heavily flooded, and Fats and his family had to be rescued.
In 2007, Fats was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Fats has been credited with selling more records than any other 1950’s rock and roll artist, with the exception of Elvis Presley.
Carry On Rockin' (Imperial Records 1955)
Rock And Rollin' With Fats (Imperial Records 1956)
Rock And Rollin' (Imperial Records 1956)
This Is Fats Domino! (Imperial Records 1957)
Here Stands Fats Domino (Imperial Records 1958)
Fabulous Mr D (Imperial Records 1958)
Let's Play Fats Domino (Imperial Records 1959)
Fats Domino Swings (Imperial Records 1959)
Million Record Hits (Imperial Records 1960)
A Lot Of Domino's (Imperial Records 1960)
I Miss You So (Imperial Records 1961)
Let The Four Winds Blow (Imperial Records 1961)
What A Party (Imperial Records 1962)
Twistin' The Stomp (Imperial Records 1962)
Just Domino (Imperial Records 1962)
Here Comes Fats Domino (ABC Paramount Records 1963)
Walkin' To New Orleans (Imperial Records 1963)
Let's Dance With Domino (Imperial Records 1963)
Here He Comes Again (Imperial Records 1963)
Fats On Fire (ABC Records 1964)
Fats Domino '65 (Mercury Records 1965)
Getaway With Fats Domino (ABC Records 1965)
Fats Is Back (Reprise Records 1968)
Cookin' With Fats (United Artists Records 1974)
Sleeping On The job (Sonet Records 1979)
Live At Montreux (Atlantic Records 1987)
Christmas Is A Special Day (Right Stuff/EMI Records 1994)