The actuarial tables say that our longtime musical heroes will be leaving us an accelerating rate. And now, Fats Domino, one of the original rock’n’rollers has died at his home in New Orleans.
Emerging from the Lower 9th Ward of the city, Fats brought a N’Awlins-infused boogie-woogie and jazz to early 50s rhythm and blues to help establish the earliest foundations of rock’n’roll.
Fats began releasing records in 1949 and dominated pop and R&B charts well into the 1960s with infectious, fun and positive songs like this.
Fats’ influence was immense. Everyone from Paul McCartney to Bob Marley (not to mention the progenitors of ska) to Harry Connick Jr. namechecked him as someone they looked up to. If you asked Elvis, he’d have told you that Fats was the real king.
We thought we’d lost Fats during Hurricane Katrina when his house was swamped and he wasn’t heard from for days. Eventually, though, he was rescued from the second floor by men in a boat. Since then, he lived with his daughter Adonica in Harvey, Louisiana. Fats lost everything in the flood, including all his gold records and his precious grand piano.
Read more about the legacy of Fats Domino at the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.