Fats Domino - "Ain't That A Shame"
In observance of Black History Month All of February (other than one notable exception for my Mom/Elvis) will be Black Musicians.
Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr. was an American pianist and singer-songwriter of Louisiana Creole descent. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits. His humility and shyness may be one reason his contribution to the genre has been overlooked.
During his career, Domino had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and five of his pre-1955 records sold more than a million copies, being certified gold. His musical style was based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums.
His 1949 release "The Fat Man" is widely regarded as the first million-selling Rock 'n Roll record.
Domino was one of the biggest stars of rock and roll in the 1950s and one of the first R&B artists to gain popularity with white audiences. His biographer Rick Coleman argues that Domino's records and tours with rock-and-roll shows in that decade, bringing together black and white youths in a shared appreciation of his music, was a factor in the breakdown of racial segregation in the United States. The artist himself did not define his work as rock and roll, saying, "It wasn't anything but the same rhythm and blues I'd been playin' down in New Orleans."
Domino was also an important influence on the music of the 1960s and 1970s and was acknowledged as such by some of the top artists of that era. Elvis Presley introduced Fats at one of his Las Vegas concerts, saying, "This gentleman was a huge influence on me when I started out." Presley also made this comment in a 1957 interview: "A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that."
Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded Domino songs. According to some reports, McCartney wrote the Beatles song "Lady Madonna" in emulation of Domino's style, combining it with a nod to Humphrey Lyttelton's 1956 hit "Bad Penny Blues". Domino also recorded the song in 1968. Domino returned to the "Hot 100" chart for the last time in 1968, with his recording of "Lady Madonna". That recording, as well as covers of two other songs by the Beatles, appeared on his Reprise album Fats Is Back, produced by Richard Perry and with several hits recorded by a band that included the New Orleans pianist James Booker.
Domino was present in the audience of 2,200 people at Elvis Presley's first concert at the Las Vegas Hilton on July 31, 1969. At a press conference after the show, when a journalist referred to Presley as "The King", Presley gestured toward Domino, who was taking in the scene. "No," Presley said, "that's the real king of rock and roll."
This song is all about finding the laughter in the sadness. They come hand in hand, in waves and in echos, they are the sun and moon of your life. Embrace them both.
So today, with laughter lighting my eyes, I choose Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" as my, oh well, c'est la vie, que sera sera, song for a, choose your own adventure, break open the sky, they can tell you nothing you don't already know Wednesday.