Fats DominoPop Musician
Born: 26 February 1928
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Best known as: Early rock 'n' roll singer of "Blueberry Hill"
Antoine "Fats" Domino recorded dozens of top-40 hits between 1950 and 1966, including early feel-good rock 'n' roll classics "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That A Shame." Domino grew up in New Orleans and began performing on piano and singing when he was a child. He began recording in 1949 with bandleader Dave Bartholomew, who later became his writing and arranging partner on most of his biggest hits; their first tune together, "The Fat Man," was a hit in 1949. Despite being popular with black audiences and on top of the rhythm and blues charts in the early 1950s, it wasn't until white singer Pat Boone covered "Ain't That A Shame" that Fats became a national celebrity. One of the first big stars of rock 'n' roll, Fats had a distinctive sound based on a rhythmic piano style influenced by boogie-woogie. Although the hits stopped coming after the mid-1960s, Fats performed up until the 1980s, when he retired and settled in his hometown. His hits include "I'm Walkin'," "Blue Monday" and "Walkin' to New Orleans."
Extra credit: Pop singer Chubby Checker took his stage name as a play on Fats Domino... Pat Boone's version of "Ain't That A Shame" reached number one on the charts, but Domino's version only reached number 10... "Blueberry Hill" was a standard that had been a top hit for Glenn Miller in 1940... Domino went missing after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in August of 2005. Days later, his daughter announced that she had seen news footage of Domino being rescued by boat and that he was presumed safe.
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