Fats Domino

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1986

Inducted by: Billy Joel

Nominated in: 1986

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony


Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1987 (ranked #53) .


Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
This is Fats (1957)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
The Fat Man (1950)
Ain't That a Shame (1955)
Blueberry Hill (1956)
Blue Monday (1956)
I'm Walkin' (1957)
Walking to New Orleans (1960)

Fats Domino @ Wikipedia

Fats Domino Videos

Comments

19 comments so far (post your own)

Love the man's music. "I'm Ready" is probably my favorite.

Posted by Philip on Friday, 03.27.09 @ 17:04pm


A great man first signed by Mr Chudd president of Imperial Records .. He had to sneak in the trunk of a Checker Taxi Cab in New Orleans to get to the club where Fats was a playin..... Heard him and the rest is ROCK HISTORY..

Posted by mrxyz on Friday, 03.27.09 @ 22:46pm


Love Fat and Lew Chudd should be in Just like Sam Philips, Berry Gordie etc..
Here is some stuff on Chudd...Quite a guy and a true rock legend.. From Fats to first Stereo records.. WOW





FIFTIES ROCK 'n' roll was torn between the rootsy rhythm 'n' blues of the original black performers and the watered-down teen-idol variety of white middle America. The record company mogul Lew Chudd worked in both these strands and played a major role in the career of leading exponents of both genres.

As the founder and president of the legendary Imperial Records label, he launched the New Orleans boogie- woogie pianist Fats Domino and later struck gold with the teen idol Ricky Nelson. Chudd also discovered the country star Slim Whitman (who, until Bryan Adams's "Everything I Do" came along, had the longest-running British No 1 - 11 weeks - with the yodelling Rose Marie, from Rudolf Friml's operetta of the same title) and gave early exposure to many artists who went on to mainstream success in the Sixties. Over the course of 20 years, releases on Chudd's label ran from novelty records to the doo-wop of the Pelicans, the Dukes, the Barons, the Bees and the Turbans.
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Chudd developed his wide-ranging musical tastes and interests while working as an advance promotion man - sticking up posters and drumming up business - for big bands. During the Thirties, he joined the NBC radio network, where he devised the Let's Dance show featuring Benny Goodman. He rose through the ranks to head the Los Angeles bureau and in the early Forties worked for the Office of War Information.

In 1946, he started Imperial Records and first concentrated on issuing 78s, 10-inch LPs and four-track EPs aimed at the Mexican and folk music markets around the Los Angeles area. Lalo Guerrero, one of the label's original artists, recalls that "the whole thing started with us Chicanos in a little hole on Western Avenue. But, after they got the black groups, they dropped all the Latinos and Chicanos. Those guys made a fortune and then sold the label to Liberty for a million dollars."

Having branched out into square-dancing records, wedding albums, gypsy music and Dixieland jazz, Chudd began to look further afield into the emerging rhythm 'n' blues market. In 1947, while on a trip to Houston, he met the New Orleans bandleader and arranger Dave Bartholomew, who became his A&R (artists and repertoire) man. The musician was at the hub of a very vibrant scene and introduced the Imperial boss to Fats Domino, a 22-year-old New Orleans piano player who sang with a Creole accent.

Under the stewardship of Chudd and Bartholomew, the rolling boogie-woogie of Fats Domino became one of the characteristic sounds of Fifties rock 'n' roll. "Blueberry Hill", "Blue Monday" and "Walking To New Orleans" conveyed a unique bonhomie and joie de vivre and defined a whole genre. He went on to sell more than 65 million records. To add to the excitement of Fats Domino's early singles, Chudd got his engineer to speed up the master tapes.

Fats Domino's success acted as a catalyst for the whole New Orleans community while Lew Chudd and Dave Bartholomew promoted the music of the Big Easy to the rest of the world. Jewel King, Jesse Allen, Smilin' Joe, the Spiders, Smiley Lewis (whose rendition of "I Hear You Knockin' " was revived by Dave Edmunds for a UK No 1 in 1970), among dozens of artists, released sides on Imperial and Chudd also recorded the bluesmen T-Bone Walker, Smokey Hogg and Lightnin' Hopkins.

In 1957, the cute Ricky Nelson was looking to capitalise on the television exposure he received in his parents' sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. To milk the teenage market, Nelson cut a version of "I'm Walkin' " which came out on Verve, coupled with "A Teenager's Romance" and became a big hit.

Chudd decided he wanted a piece of that crossover action and lured Nelson to Imperial with a $250,000 offer. Verve Records sued, but didn't have much of a leg to stand on since Nelson had not signed a contract with the label. Over the next six years, Ricky Nelson scored 20 American Top Forty hits (including No 1s with "Poor Little Fool" and "Travellin' Man/Hello Mary Lou") on Imperial.

In 1958, the Teddy Bears, a quartet led by Phil Spector, reached No 1 with the haunting "To Know Him is To Love Him" on the Dore label. Once again, Chudd stepped in with a better offer. The Teddy Bears' three follow- up singles and their only album all flopped, though Phil Spector went on to become a producer and to create the famous "Wall of Sound" behind the Crystals, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers.

The following year, Chudd performed the same chequebook trick, signing the drummer Sandy Nelson, who had just had a US hit with "Teen Beat", a one-off single on Original Sound. At his new Imperial home, the instrumentalist scored again with the thumping "Let There Be Drums", a Top Ten smash on both sides of the Atlantic.

Always a shrewd and astute businessman, Chudd made sure Imperial was one of the first labels to issue stereo albums, from the late Fifties onward. Even now, oddities like Alfred Hitchcock's Music To Be Murdered By, by Jeff Alexander's Orchestra, are much sought after by collectors.



Posted by mrxyz on Friday, 03.27.09 @ 23:03pm


The guy bores me to tears, but he certainly deserves in.

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 01.8.12 @ 11:11am


I love Fats! He perfectly captured the New Orleans atmosphere in his music. When I listen to "Walking to New Orleans," "Be My Guest," or "Going to the River," I feel like I'm deep in the Louisiana bayous or enjoying a Mardi Gras festival. "Going to the River" is probably one of the saddest songs you'll ever hear, but it's such a beautifully orchestrated song.

GFW, just curious, but what is it about Domino that bores you? His voice? The lyrics? The instrumentation? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to know a little bit about why you feel that way.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 02.14.12 @ 11:58am


Just the music in general. I guess I just don't like that laid back jazz sound (then again, I don't like much jazz at all). His voice is nice though.

Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 02.14.12 @ 12:14pm


One of my favorite songs by Fats is "That Certain Someone" which is one of his best, IMO.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 02.21.12 @ 05:48am


Fats Domino is probably the best rock and roll singer to come out of New Orleans and the most popular singer of New Orleans R&B. He sold more albums in the 50s then any other rock and roll singer. His style of piano playing was much more relaxed then the hard hitting piano playing style of Jerry Lee Lewis. In terms of charismata or menacing stage presence, Domino had nether, but what he did have a relaxing sound and warm vocals. His 1949 single, "The Fat Man" could be considered to be the frist rock and roll song and he would continue to paly eve after his music was called rock and roll. The man Fats Domino influenced the most in terms of piano playing was Billy Joel.

Posted by Andrew on Thursday, 10.11.12 @ 11:48am


Fats Domino is probably the best rock and roll singer to come out of New Orleans and the most popular singer of New Orleans R&B. He sold more albums in the 50s then any other rock and roll singer. His style of piano playing was much more relaxed then the hard hitting piano playing style of Jerry Lee Lewis. In terms of charismata or menacing stage presence, Domino had nether, but what he did have a relaxing sound and warm vocals. His 1949 single, "The Fat Man" could be considered to be the frist rock and roll song and he would continue to play eve after his music was called rock and roll. The man Fats Domino influenced the most in terms of piano playing was Billy Joel.

Posted by Andrew on Thursday, 10.11.12 @ 11:50am


Andrew or anyone.. I really like Fats... Does anyone know who discovered him and made him the rock icon that he is ? What was the first record company that made him hot ???????????????????????????who was that man? I would like to shake his hand !

Posted by Happy on Thursday, 10.11.12 @ 22:32pm


Happy 85th birthday to one rock 'n roll's true legends and giants, Fats Domino!

His significance to the development of rock 'n roll cannot be overstated. Anyone who is a novice to Domino owes it to themselves to pick up They Call Me the Fat Man: The Legendary Imperial Recordings, a four-disc, 100-song box set. It's an outstanding introduction to Fats's music.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 17:44pm


The most popular singer of classic New Orleans R&B, Fats Domino sold more albums then any other black 1950s rock and roll singer. While he may not have been the most flamboyant or charismatic rock and roller of the 50s, he was the person most rooted in the worlds of the blues, R&B and various types that gave rise to rock. His boogie-woogie playing style and relaxed vocals anchored a long list of hits from the mid '50s to the early '60s.

With these musical achievements, Fats Domino put New Orleans on the musical map. He was also a key person in the transition of R&B to rock and roll. His first single, "The Fat Man" could be considered one of the first rock n' roll songs.

Fats' influence is far reaching as people like Elton John and Paul McCartney drew his Domino's piano playing power, but the musician he influenced the most was Billy Joel.

Posted by Andrew on Monday, 06.3.13 @ 12:07pm


The most popular singer of classic New Orleans R&B, Fats Domino sold more albums then any other black 1950s rock and roll singer. While he may not have been the most flamboyant or charismatic rock and roller of the 50s, he was the person most rooted in the worlds of the blues, R&B and various types that gave rise to rock. His boogie-woogie playing style and relaxed vocals anchored a long list of hits from the mid '50s to the early '60s.

With these musical achievements, Fats Domino put New Orleans on the musical map. He was also a key person in the transition of R&B to rock and roll. His first single, "The Fat Man" could be considered one of the first rock n' roll songs.

Fats' influence is far reaching as people like Elton John and Paul McCartney drew from Domino's piano playing power, but the musician he influenced the most was Billy Joel.

Posted by Andrew on Monday, 06.3.13 @ 21:06pm


The most popular performer of the classic New Orleans R&B sound, Fats Domino may not have been the most flamboyant, threatening, or innovative rock and roll singer of the 50s, but he certainly was the singer who was most rooted in the blues, rhythm and blues and various strains of jazz that gave birth to rock n' roll.

With a gentle boogie-woogie piano playing style, warm vocals, a slow way of singing, and Creole inflected vocals, Domino helped put New Orleans on the musical map during the dawn of rock n' roll. In fact, he was a huge figure in the transition from R&B to rock and roll. A transition so subtle that the lines between these two different musical styles often bordered on insignificance.

Born in 1928, Fats ultimately sold more records then any other 50s rock and roll singer except Elvis Presley. Between 1950 and 1963, he made the pop charts 63 times and the R&B charts 59 times. Incredible as it might be, Domino scored more hits than Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard all combined.

His debut single, "The Fat Man," is one of dozens of songs that could be a candidate for the first rock n' roll song and at the least, it was a milestone rhythm and blues song that heralded a new age in American popular music.

A string of hits followed "The Fat Man," such as "Goin' Home," "Going to the River," and "Please Don't Leave Me." Still, Domino's success was limited to the R&B charts until 1952, when "Goin' Home" hit the pop charts and "Going to the River," the following year, but his major crossover hit came in 1955 with "Ain't That A Shame."

He experienced extraordinary success in the rapidly glowing rock n' roll market in the latter half of the 50s. "Ain't That A Shame" was the first in a string 37 crossover hits for Fats over the next 8 years. His biggest hit came in 1956 with "Blueberry Hill," a song that had previously been sung by Glen Miller and Louis Armstrong. His version reached Number Two on the pop chart.

Despite his hit filled career, Fats would never the pop charts. After "Blueberry Hill" established him as a musical star, the hits came fast and furious. Some of Domino's best songs from the late 50s include "Blue Monday," "I'm Walkin'," "It's Your Love," "I'm Ready," and "Walking to New Orleans."

The secret to the appeal of Fats' music was just plain rhythm. As he put it, "You got to keep a good beat. The rhythms that we play are from New Orleans." As far as he was concerned, he was just playing the music that he had already been playing for years and he would continue singing and playing in the same fashion even after his music was dubbed “rock and roll.” Perhaps this statement is best represented in Domino's song "The Big Beat."

Because he was highly visible in the late 50s, Fats appeared in several movies and partook in many of the big tours of the day. While he lacked the charisma of some of his contemporaries, Domino was easygoing and got by on the rhythms and solid foundation of his music. Down to earth and likeable, he is the most underappreciated star of rock and roll's first age. His gentle temperament and immense talent assured his success.

When The Beatles came to town, they dented the careers of 50s rock and roll singers including Fats Domino, whose hit parade came to an end in 1964. He had just one more hit when he covered The Beatles' "Lady Madonna," a song written specifically with Fats' boogie style in mind.

Revered as a pioneer of rock n' roll, Fats' influence on artists has shown itself in the piano playing skills of artists like Elton John and Paul McCartney, but I would said that the artist that has inherited Domino's style the most is Billy Joel. Don't believe me? Just take a listen to one of Billy's more softer songs like "New York State of Mind" or "She's Always a Woman."

Personally, I like Fats Domino because of his relaxed tone, his warm vocals and his soft piano playing style.

Posted by Andrew on Saturday, 03.8.14 @ 21:28pm


The most popular performer of the classic New Orleans R&B sound, Fats Domino may not have been the most flamboyant, threatening, or innovative rock and roll singer of the 50s, but he certainly was the singer who was most rooted in the blues, rhythm and blues and various strains of jazz that gave birth to rock n' roll.

With a gentle boogie-woogie piano playing style, warm vocals, a slow way of singing, and Creole inflected vocals, Domino helped put New Orleans on the musical map during the dawn of rock n' roll. In fact, he was a huge figure in the transition from R&B to rock and roll. A transition so subtle that the lines between these two different musical styles often bordered on insignificance.

Born in 1928, Fats ultimately sold more records then any other 50s rock and roll singer except Elvis Presley. Between 1950 and 1963, he made the pop charts 63 times and the R&B charts 59 times. Incredible as it might be, Domino scored more hits than Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Little Richard all combined.

His debut single, "The Fat Man," is one of dozens of songs that could be a candidate for the first rock n' roll song and at the least, it was a milestone rhythm and blues song that heralded a new age in American popular music.

A string of hits followed "The Fat Man," such as "Goin' Home," "Going to the River," and "Please Don't Leave Me." Still, Domino's success was limited to the R&B charts until 1952, when "Goin' Home" hit the pop charts and "Going to the River," the following year, but his major crossover hit came in 1955 with "Ain't That A Shame."

He experienced extraordinary success in the rapidly glowing rock n' roll market in the latter half of the 50s. "Ain't That A Shame" was the first in a string 37 crossover hits for Fats over the next 8 years. His biggest hit came in 1956 with "Blueberry Hill," a song that had previously been sung by Glen Miller and Louis Armstrong. His version reached Number Two on the pop chart.

Despite his hit filled career, Fats would never the pop charts. After "Blueberry Hill" established him as a musical star, the hits came fast and furious. Some of Domino's best songs from the late 50s include "Blue Monday," "I'm Walkin'," "It's Your Love," "I'm Ready," and "Walking to New Orleans."

The secret to the appeal of Fats' music was just plain rhythm. As he put it, "You got to keep a good beat. The rhythms that we play are from New Orleans." As far as he was concerned, he was just playing the music that he had already been playing for years and he would continue singing and playing in the same fashion even after his music was dubbed “rock and roll.” Perhaps this statement is best represented in Domino's song "The Big Beat."

Because he was highly visible in the late 50s, Fats appeared in several movies and partook in many of the big tours of the day. While he lacked the charisma of some of his contemporaries, Domino was easygoing and got by on the rhythms and solid foundation of his music. Down to earth and likeable, he is the most underappreciated star of rock and roll's first age. His gentle temperament and immense talent assured his success.

When The Beatles came to town, they dented the careers of 50s rock and roll singers including Fats Domino, whose hit parade came to an end in 1964. He had just one more hit when he covered The Beatles' "Lady Madonna," a song written specifically with Fats' boogie style in mind.

Revered as a pioneer of rock n' roll, Fats' influence on artists has shown itself in the piano playing skills of artists like Elton John and Paul McCartney, but I would said that the artist that has inherited Domino's style the most is Billy Joel. Don't believe me? Just take a listen to one of Billy's more softer songs like "New York State of Mind" or "She's Always a Woman."

Personally, I like Fats Domino because of his relaxed tone, his warm vocals and his soft piano playing style.

Posted by Andrew on Saturday, 03.8.14 @ 21:28pm


RIP Fats

Posted by Gassman on Wednesday, 10.25.17 @ 10:45am


Eerie for me. I was just talking to someone about how Fats is the oldest surviving significant rocker. :( Rest in peace, Fat Man.

Posted by Paul K. on Wednesday, 10.25.17 @ 11:17am


Fats Domino

Posted by Roy on Wednesday, 10.25.17 @ 12:03pm


R.I.P. to an amazingly talented legend (seriously, listen to some of his piano runs on his earlier Imperial singles [particularly Boogie Woogie Baby, She's My Baby, and Hey! La Bas Boogie]), which I'm listening to as I type this message). The Legendary Imperial Recordings box set is essential listening for anyone who even considers themselves a Fats Domino fan.

Man, I can imagine the piano jams Fats must be having with Professor Longhair, Champion Jack Dupree, and others. The world is poorer without their physical presence, but we'll always have the studio/live recordings and concert/TV/movie performances to enjoy.

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 10.28.17 @ 00:17am


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