The Rock and Roll of the 1940s and 50s is exactly the same music they played in my childhood church on Sundays. I am wont to say Sunday mornings but that hand-clapping, feet-stomping, devil-chasing [lol] quasi-pentecostal church of my mother would last all day and much of the night. In my current state of reprobance, the deep love and appreciation of music that I developed as a churchgoing baby is the most significant vestige I have of religion.
Equally ingrained in me is my affection for the piano playing of Fats Domino. I cannot remember the first time I heard him strike a chord or shaked my, ah, derrière to his dynamic left-hand bass line but I can recognize his sound from miles away. His music feels like home, sometimes.
For the benefit of those who wondered whether Fats Domino is what you get when you eat too much pizza1 , here’s my short bio of the man, .
84 years ago today, in 1928, Antoine Dominique Domino was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He learned to play the piano when he was only seven years old with a little help from his brother-in-law. He first performed in public at the tender age of 10 and recorded his first hit “The Fat man”, in 1949; it is considered by many to be the first ever rock and roll song. Fats gained esteem as a singer (popularized Glenn Miller’s “Blueberry Hill”2 ), lyricist (among his greatest verse is “Hello Josephine”/ “My Girl Josephine”) and maestro pianist. He was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1986. On occasion, Fats still delivers heartwarming live performances. [for more, Fats Domino, Wikipedia]
Fats Domino has been alive for a relatively long time and will be remembered for so much longer. It is heartwarming to imagine that someone born over 60 years before me has brought such infinite joy to my life. This is exactly why “Music is my First Love” (and then John Keats).
Thanks for sharing my headspace and I hope this gem from The Fat Man will keep you rocking in your seat.
Happy Birthday, Fats, and thank you for the music. I got amazing reviews of your 1961 performance here in Jamaica; such a pity I wasn’t around to enjoy. I’ll be seeking you out if I ever make it to New Orleans. K.x