Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fats Domino, born Antoine Dominique (born February 26 1928 in New Orleans, Louisiana), is a classic R&B singer. He was the best-selling African-American singer of the 1950s and early 1960s. Domino is also a fine pianist with an individualistic bluesy style showing stride and boogie-woogie influences. His congenial personality and rich accent have added to his appeal.
His career began with "The Fat Man" (1949, Imperial Records), one of the first rock and roll records, featuring a rolling piano and Fats doing wah-wah vocalizing. The record, a reworking of "Junker's Blues" by Champion Jack Dupree, was a massive hit, selling over a million copies and peaking at #2 on the Billboard R&B Charts .
Fats then released a series of hit songs with producer and co-writer Dave Bartholomew, saxophonist Alvin "Red" Tyler and drummer Earl Palmer. Fats finally crossed into the pop mainstream with "Ain't That a Shame" (1955) which hit the Top Ten, though Pat Boone characteristically hit #1 with a cover of the song. Fats released an unprecedented series of 35 Top 40 singles, including "Whole Lotta Loving", "Blue Monday", and a funky version of the old ballad "Blueberry Hill".
After he moved to ABC-Paramount in 1963, the bottom fell out of Fats' recording career although he continued as a popular live act. Though he remained active for decades, he only had one more Top 40 hit, a cover of the Beatles song "Lady Madonna", originally written by Lennon/McCartney to emulate Fats's style.
In the 1980s Domino decided he would no longer leave New Orleans, as he had a comfortable income from royalties, disliked touring, and claimed he couldn't get any food he liked anywhere but his home town. His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and an invitation to perform at the White House failed to get Domino to make any exception to this policy. He lives in a mansion in the mostly working-class 9th Ward neighborhood, where he is a familiar sight in his bright pink Cadillac. He makes yearly appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and a few other local events, where he demonstrates that his musicianship and showmanship are undiminished.
His career has been produced and managed since the 1980s by multimedia entertainment purveyor and music producer Robert G. Vernon. During Vernon's tenure, Domino's earnings have increased 500%.
Since 1995, Vernon and Domino have been partners (with many other companies, such as Dick Clark Productions) in the Bobkat Music Trust, an entertainment group that manages the careers (some posthumous) of Domino, Elvis Presley, Paul Shaffer (keyboardist and occasional guest host on the David Letterman Show), Jerry Lee Lewis, writer Randy Pringle, and many others. Bobkat Music Trust is the official holder of rights (of record) to "Fats Domino and Friends" (most watched special in Cinemax history, winner of ACE Award for "Cinemax Sessions"), not to mention the award-winning Fats Domino TV commercial for Popeye's Chicken, and is headquartered in the San Francisco East Bay Delta area of California.
- Fats Domino on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame site
- Domino manager Bob Vernon's official website
- Vernon and Domino's Bobkat Music Trust
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