Fats turns the light out
At 89 years, the great Fats Domino closes his piano for the last time...
Seven months after the death of Chuck Berry, another founding father of rock has left us at the age of 89: Antoine Domino Jr., or 'Fats' as he's more commonly known, is gone. And this time for good - following Hurricane Katerina in 2005, some American medias had thought him dead. This great singer and rhythm'n'blues pianist born February 26, 1928 in New Orleans was a founding father of rock'n'roll, the king even.
Elvis Presley, widely referred to as the "King", never forgot to state that the Fats Domino was the true monarch - this jelly-bellied genius with an inimitable syncopated style who is too often reduced to the unique and foolproof Blueberry Hill...
The youngest of eight children born to Catholic parents with a French Creole background, Fats Domino left the school benches at only 11 years old to work in a factory. As a music fan, surrounded by the gospel choirs at mass and the sounds of the old family gramophone, he learnt the piano by himself and, at the age of 14, began to play boogie-woogie in various clubs. He was 21 years old when Lee Chud, boss of the label Imperial, signed his first contract. Fats Domino, named as such for his imposing waistline and as a reference to Fats Waller, then recorded a modified version of The Junker's Blues renamed as The Fat Man. It's an immediate hit on the radio and a source of inspiration for the upcoming rock'n'roll. Other hits followed.
Goin' Home, Is not That a Shame, I'm Walkin', All By Myself, Poor Me and this famous Blueberry Hill revisited by the entire planet, from Elvis to Elton John and even Celine Dion! Less charismatic than the two other pianists of the genre, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, Fats Domino appeared to be more consensual but was stylistically equally essential.
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