Fats Domino

Forever thought of as one of New Orleans' finest, big-voiced Fats Domino will always be indelibly associated with 'Blueberry Hill', one of the defining tracks of the rock & roll era. Born Antoine Domino Jr., he was nicknamed Fats by bandleader Billy Diamond who likened his style of playing to Fats Waller. His big break came with the release of one of the earliest rock & roll tracks, 'The Fat Man' in 1949, which sold over a million copies. As he developed a following as a rock & roll musician he released 'Ain't That a Shame', crossing over into mainstream pop. His debut album 'Carry On Rockin'' managed number 17 in the Billboard Pop Charts, but it was his next single, 'Blueberry Hill' - written by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock and previously recorded by Gene Autry and Louis Armstrong - that really launched his career, earning him a number two in the Billboard Charts and number one on the R&B Charts, a position that he retained for eleven weeks. On the back of the success of 'Blueberry Hill', Domino had further hits with 'When My Dreamboat Comes Home', 'I'm Walkin'', 'Valley of Tears', 'It's You I Love' and 'Whole Lotta Loving'. His distinctive style was a big influence on later rock and The Beatles' 'Lady Madonna' was a homage to him. Domino also appeared in the movies 'Shake, Rattle & Rock' and 'The Girl Can't Help It', but gave up touring in the 1980s, although he still performed regularly in his beloved New Orleans where he was a familiar figure driving around in his pink Cadillac. In 2005 it was reported that Domino had died during Hurricane Katrina but, although his home was destroyed, he and his family were rescued by helicopter and he released a new album 'Alive & Kicking' the following year to confirm he was very much living. In 2007 he was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and shortly after appeared at a concert raising funds for the victims of Katrina. In October 2017, after a career spanning 70 years, Fats Domino passed away at the age of 89.

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