Late Rock and Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Had a Big Life and Houston Connections


Fat Domino, the beloved icon and grasp pianist partly chargeable for the nascency of Rock and Roll, was as nice an envoy for the music of New Orleans as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet or Allen Toussaint.

Domino’s 1949 hit “Fats Man,” recorded at legendary engineer Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio in New Orleans, has been credited by many as the primary Rock and Roll music. His classics “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t That A Disgrace,” “Jambalaya,” “I am In Love Once more,” and “I am Strolling” actually laid the blueprint for Rock and Roll, but in addition represented the multi style fusion of R&B, blues, and two distinctly New Orleans-particular genres, ragtime and jazz.

And like many unimaginable New Orleans musicians through the years, Fat Domino additionally had a connection to Houston.

One wet Sunday night time in Houston again in 1953, Domino and his orchestra have been enjoying such an exquisitely chic set that the wall of sound drowned out a housebreaking transpiring subsequent door on the Uptown furnishings retailer. The burglars had entered the furnishings retailer via a skylight and cracked open a protected with hammers, making off with $three,000 money. The police have been “quieting a disturbance” on the Fat Domino live performance based on one newspaper report revealed the next Monday on December 28, 1953 with the headline “Bebop Ruckus Covers Up Noise of Safecrackers.” Due to this, they have been unable to listen to the opposite actual ruckus subsequent door.

The burglers climbed again out of the identical skylight they entered and the rain pouring down brought about about $500 value of injury to the furnishings retailer.

However the Fat Domino live performance itself was its personal instance of untamed Johnny Strabler and movie noir-period Rock and Roll rebelliousness. On the live performance, police arrested seventy six white individuals who didn’t need to keep within the part reserved for white live performance attendees, however as an alternative determined they needed to bop with the black concertgoers.

In accordance with the identical article, a police lieutenant “stated the youths, all white and lots of of them sporting ‘ducktail’ haircuts, created the disturbance by refusing to remain in sections reserved for whites. He stated two minor fights broke out and search of the seventy six taken to jail revealed 25 knives and a pair of brass ‘knucks’.”

The article ends with a sentence that reads “…the white youths apparently have been so carried away by the ‘bebop’ music they needed to get in on the dancing.”

That very same yr in 1953, Fat Domino’s largest hit of the yr, “Goin’ to the River,” reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart, having entered the chart earlier at No. eight the identical week Huge Mama Thornton’s “Hound Canine,” launched on Don Robey’s Houston-based mostly Peacock label, peaked at No. 1.

Fat Domino performed many exhibits in Texas all through his profession, however he additionally paid tribute to the state and particularly talked about Houston in his music. His rendition of “Deep within the Coronary heart of Texas” is a heat-hearted tribute to the Lone Star State.



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