Fats Domino dies at 89; gave rock a New Or­leans fla­vor

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

NEW OR­LEANS — Fats Domino, the ami­able rock ’n’ roll pi­o­neer whose steady, pound­ing pi­ano and easy bari­tone helped change pop­u­lar mu­sic while honor­ing the tra­di­tions of the Cres­cent City, has died. He was 89.

Mark Bone, chief in­ves­ti­ga­tor with the Jef­fer­son Parish, Louisiana, coro­ner’s of­fice, said Domino died of nat­u­ral causes early Tues­day.

In ap­pear­ance, he was no mati­nee idol. He stood 5- feet- 5 and weighed more than 200 pounds, with a wide, boy­ish smile and a hair­cut as flat as an al­bum cover. But Domino sold more than 110 mil­lion records, with hits in­clud­ing “Blue­berry Hill,” ‘’Ain’t That a Shame” — orig­i­nally ti­tled “Ain’t It A Shame”— and other stan­dards of rock ‘n’ roll.

He was one of the first 10 hon­orees named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Rolling Stone Record Guide likened him to Ben­jamin Franklin, the beloved old man of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment.

“We’ve low­ered the flag and we’re play­ing his mu­sic all day,” said Greg Har­ris, CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“Fats is the god­fa­ther of rock and roll,” Har­ris said.

“On be­half of the peo­ple of New Or­leans, I am eter­nally grate­ful for his life and legacy,” New Or­leans Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu said in a news re­lease Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “Fats Domino added to New Or­leans’ stand­ing in the world, and what peo­ple know and ap­pre­ci­ate about New Or­leans.”

“I can’t wrap my arms around him be­ing gone,” said Quint Davis, pro­ducer of the New Or­leans Jazz and Her­itage Fes­ti­val and a decades­long friend of Domino. He said only two peo­ple from New Or­leans have changed the mu­sic of the world: jazz leg­end Louis Arm­strong and Fats Domino.

Lit­tle Richard, another found­ing fa­ther of rock ‘n’ roll, said in a phone in­ter­view, “He was one of my great­est in­spi­ra­tions. God was tops — but earthly, Fats was it ...

“He could play jazz. He could play any­thing,” he said. “He was one of the great­est en­ter­tain­ers that I’ve ever known.”

His 1956 ver­sion of “Blue­berry Hill” was se­lected for the Li­brary of Congress’ Na­tional Record­ing Reg­istry of his­toric sound record­ings wor­thy of preser­va­tion.

File, Richard Drew / AP

Fats Domino is re­mem­bered as the rock pi­o­neer whose pound­ing pi­ano and easy bari­tone changed pop­u­lar mu­sic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.