Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. 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 in 1962
Antoine Domino Jr.
February 26, 1928
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||October 24, 2017 (aged 89)|
Harvey, Louisiana, U.S.
(m. 1947; died 2008)
Antoine Domino Jr, was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of eight children born to Antoine Caliste Domino (1879–1964) and Marie-Donatille Gros (1886–1971). The Domino family was of French Creole background, and Louisiana Creole was his first language.
Antoine was born at home with the assistance of his grandmother, a midwife. His name was initially misspelled as Anthony on his birth certificate. His family had recently arrived in the Lower Ninth Ward from Vacherie, Louisiana. His father was a part-time violin player who worked at a racetrack.
He attended the Louis B. Macarty School until the fourth grade, leaving to start work as a helper to an ice delivery man. Domino learned to play the piano in about 1938 from his brother-in-law, the jazz guitarist Harrison Verrett.
The musician was married to Rosemary Domino (née Hall) from 1947 until her death in 2008; the couple had eight children: Antoine III, Anatole, Andre, Antonio, Antoinette, Andrea, Anola, and Adonica. Even after his success he continued to live in his old neighborhood, the Lower Ninth Ward, until after Hurricane Katrina, when he moved to a suburb of New Orleans.
By age 14, Domino was performing in New Orleans bars. In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Domino played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club in New Orleans, where he would earn $3 a week playing the piano. Diamond nicknamed him "Fats", because Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon, but also because of his large appetite.
Domino was signed to the Imperial Records label in 1949 by owner Lew Chudd, to be paid royalties based on sales instead of a fee for each song. He and producer Dave Bartholomew wrote "The Fat Man", a toned down version of a song about drug addicts called "Junkers Blues"; the record had sold a million copies by 1951. Featuring a rolling piano and Domino vocalizing "wah-wah" over a strong backbeat, "The Fat Man" is widely considered the first rock-and-roll record to achieve this level of sales. In 2015, the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Domino released a series of hit songs with Bartholomew (also the co-writer of many of the songs), the saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin "Red" Tyler, the bassist Frank Fields, and the drummers Earl Palmer and Smokey Johnson. Other notable and long-standing musicians in Domino's band were the saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen, and Fred Kemp, Domino's trusted bandleader.
While Domino's own recordings were done for Imperial, he sometimes sat in during that time as a session musician on recordings by other artists for other record labels. Domino's rolling piano triplets provided the memorable instrumental introduction for Lloyd Price's first hit, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", recorded for Specialty Records on March 13, 1952 at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans (where Domino himself had earlier recorded "The Fat Man" and other songs). Dave Bartholomew was producing Price's record, which also featured familiar Domino collaborators Hardesty, Fields and Palmer as sidemen, and he asked Domino to play the piano part, replacing the original session pianist.
Domino crossed into the pop mainstream with "Ain't That a Shame" (mislabeled as "Ain't It a Shame") which reached the Top Ten. This was the first of his records to appear on the Billboard pop singles chart (on July 16, 1955), with the debut at number 14. A milder cover version by Pat Boone reached number 1, having received wider radio airplay in an era of racial segregation. In 1955, Domino was said to be earning $10,000 a week while touring, according to a report in the memoir of artist Chuck Berry. Domino eventually had 37 Top 40 singles, but none made it to number 1 on the Pop chart.
Domino's debut album contained several of his recent hits and earlier blues tracks that had not been released as singles, and was issued on the Imperial label (catalogue number 9009) in November 1955, and was reissued as Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino.  The reissue reached number 17 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.
His 1956 recording of "Blueberry Hill", a 1940 song by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock (which had previously been recorded by Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong and others), reached number 2 on the Billboard Juke Box chart for two weeks and was number 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks. It was his biggest hit, selling more than 5 million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957. The song was subsequently recorded by Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Led Zeppelin. Some 32 years later, the song would enter the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Domino had further hit singles between 1956 and 1959, including "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" (Pop number 14), "I'm Walkin'" (Pop number 4), "Valley of Tears" (Pop number 8), "It's You I Love" (Pop number 6), "Whole Lotta Loving" (Pop number 6), "I Want to Walk You Home" (Pop number 8), and "Be My Guest" (Pop number 8).
Domino appeared in two films released in 1956: Shake, Rattle & Rock! and The Girl Can't Help It. On December 18, 1957, his hit recording of "The Big Beat" was featured on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. He was also featured in a movie of the same name.
On November 2, 1956, a riot broke out at a Domino concert in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The police used tear gas to break up the unruly crowd. Domino jumped out a window to avoid the melee; he and two members of his band were slightly injured. During his career, four major riots occurred at his concerts, "partly because of integration", according to his biographer Rick Coleman. "But also the fact they had alcohol at these shows. So they were mixing alcohol, plus dancing, plus the races together for the first time in a lot of these places." In November 1957, Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV program; no disturbance accompanied this performance.
In the same year, the article "King of Rock 'n' Roll" in Ebony (magazine) featured Domino who said he was on the road 340 days a year, up to $2,500 per evening, and grossing over $500,000; Domino also told readers that he owned 50 suits, 100 pairs of shoes and a $1,500 diamond horseshoe stick pin.
Domino had a steady series of hits for Imperial through early 1962, including "Walking' to New Orleans" (1960, Pop number 6), co-written by Bobby Charles, and "My Girl Josephine" (Pop number 14) in the same year. He toured Europe in 1962 and met the Beatles who would later cite Domino as an inspiration. After returning, he played the first of his many stands in Las Vegas.
Imperial Records was sold in early 1963, and Domino left the label. "I stuck with them until they sold out," he said in 1979. In all, he recorded over 60 singles for Imperial, placing 40 songs in the top 10 on the R&B chart and 11 in the top 10 on the Pop chart, twenty-seven of which were double-sided hits.
Domino moved to ABC-Paramount Records in 1963. The label dictated that he record in Nashville, Tennessee, rather than New Orleans. He was assigned a new producer (Felton Jarvis) and a new arranger (Bill Justis). Domino's long-term collaboration with the producer, arranger, and frequent co-writer Dave Bartholomew, who oversaw virtually all of his Imperial hits, was seemingly at an end. Jarvis and Justis changed the Domino sound somewhat, notably by adding the backing of a countrypolitan-style vocal chorus to most of his new recordings. He released 11 singles for ABC-Paramount, several which hit the Top 100 but just once entering the Top 40 ("Red Sails in the Sunset", 1963). By the end of 1964 the British Invasion had changed the tastes of the record-buying public, and Domino's chart run was over.
Despite the lack of chart success, Domino continued to record steadily until about 1970, leaving ABC-Paramount in mid-1965 and recording for Mercury Records, where he delivered a live album and two singles. A studio album was planned but stalled with just four tracks recorded. Dave Bartholomew's small Broadmoor label (reuniting with Bartholomew along the way), featured many contemporary Soul infused sides and a few single releases but an album was not released overseas until 1971 to fulfill his Reprise Records contract. He shifted to that label after Broadmoor and had a Top 100 single, a cover of the Beatles' "Lady Madonna".
Domino appeared in the Monkees' television special 33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee in 1969. He continued to be popular as a performer for several decades. He made a cameo appearance in Clint Eastwood's movie Any Which Way You Can, filmed in 1979 and released in 1980, singing the country song "Whiskey Heaven", which later became a minor hit. His life and career were showcased in Joe Lauro's 2015 documentary The Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll.
In 1986 Domino was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. Domino's last album for a major label, "Christmas is a Special Day", was released in 1993.
Domino lived in a mansion in a predominantly working-class neighborhood in the Lower Ninth Ward, where he was a familiar sight in his bright pink Cadillac automobile. He made yearly appearances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and other local events. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
His last tour was in Europe, for three weeks in 1995. After being ill while on tour, Domino decided he would no longer leave the New Orleans area, having a comfortable income from royalty payments and a dislike of touring and claiming he could not get any food that he liked anywhere else. In the same year, he received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Ray Charles Lifetime Achievement Award.
As Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in August 2005, Domino chose to stay at home with his family, partly because his wife, Rosemary, was in poor health. His house was in an area that was heavily flooded.
Domino was rumored to have died, and his home was vandalized when someone spray-painted the message "RIP Fats. You will be missed". On September 1, the talent agent Al Embry announced that he had not heard from Domino since before the hurricane struck. Later that day, CNN reported that Domino had been rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter. Until then, even family members had not heard from him since before the storm. Embry confirmed that Domino and his family had been rescued. The family was then taken to a shelter in Baton Rouge, after which they were picked up by JaMarcus Russell, the starting quarterback of the Louisiana State University football team, and the boyfriend of Domino's granddaughter. He let the family stay in his apartment. The Washington Post reported that on September 2, they had left Russell's apartment after sleeping three nights on the couch. "We've lost everything," Domino said, according to the Post.
President George W. Bush made a personal visit and replaced the National Medal of Arts that President Bill Clinton had previously awarded Domino. The gold records were replaced by the RIAA and Capitol Records, which owned the Imperial Records catalogue.
Domino was scheduled to perform at the 2006 Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans. However, he was suffering from anxiety and was forced to cancel the performance, but he did appear to offer the audience an on-stage greeting.
In 2006 Domino's album Alive and Kickin' was released to benefit Tipitina's Foundation, which supports indigent local musicians and helps preserve the New Orleans sound. The album consists of unreleased recordings from the 1990s and received great critical acclaim.
On January 12, 2007, Domino was honored with OffBeat magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Best of the Beat Awards, held at the House of Blues in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared the day "Fats Domino Day in New Orleans" and presented him with a signed declaration.
Domino returned to stage on May 19, 2007, at Tipitina's at New Orleans, performing to a full house. This would be his last public performance. The concert was recorded for a 2008 TV presentation entitled Fats Domino: Walkin' Back to New Orleans. This was a fund-raising concert, featuring a number of artists; Domino donated his fee to the cause. Later that year, a Vanguard record was released, Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino featuring his songs as recorded by Elton John, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, and Lucinda Williams. A portion of the proceeds was to be used by the Foundation to help restore Domino's publishing office which had been damaged by the hurricane.
In May 2009, Domino made an unexpected appearance in the audience for the Domino Effect, a concert featuring Little Richard and other artists, aimed at raising funds to help rebuild schools and playgrounds damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
In October 2012, Domino was featured in season three of the television series Treme, playing himself. On August 21, 2016, Domino was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame. The ceremony was held in Detroit, Michigan. The other inductees were Dionne Warwick, Cathy Hughes, Smokey Robinson, Prince, and the Supremes. He had received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Ray Charles Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His song "The Fat Man" entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.
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." About a photograph made of him and Elvis together, Mr. Domino said: "Elvis told me he flopped the first time he came to Las Vegas. I loved his music. He could sing anything ... I'm glad we took this picture." (Fats Domino (2002). "Music Pioneer Fats Domino Talks About Elvis." Retrieved from "USA Today." December 10, 2002.)
American band Cheap Trick recorded "Ain't That a Shame" on their 1978 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan and released it as the second single from the album. It reached 35 of the Billboard Hot 100. Reportedly, this was Domino's favorite cover. It remains a staple of their live performances, including at their 25th Anniversary concert (which was recorded as the album and DVD Silver) and at their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
Richard Hell, an early innovater of punk rock, covered Domino's "I Lived My Life" with his band, the Voidoids. Jah Wobble, a post-punk bassist best known for his work with Johnny Rotten, released a solo recording of "Blueberry Hill".
In 2007, various artists came together for a tribute to Domino, recording a live session containing only his songs. Musicians performing on the album, Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino, included Paul McCartney, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Elton John.
According to Richie Unterberger, writing for AllMusic, Domino was one of the most consistent artists of early rock music, the best-selling African-American rock-and-roll star of the 1950s, and the most popular singer of the "classic" New Orleans rhythm and blues style. His million-selling debut single, "The Fat Man" (1949), is one of many that have been cited as the first rock and roll record. Robert Christgau wrote that Domino was "the most widely liked rock and roller of the '50s" and remarked on his influence:
Warm and unthreatening even by the intensely congenial standards of New Orleans, he's remembered with fond condescension as significantly less innovative than his uncommercial compatriots Professor Longhair and James Booker. But though his bouncy boogie-woogie piano and easy Creole gait were generically Ninth Ward, they defined a pop-friendly second-line beat that nobody knew was there before he and Dave Bartholomew created 'The Fat Man' in 1949. In short, this shy, deferential, uncharismatic man invented New Orleans rock and roll.
"Ain't That a Shame" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino's recording of the song (mistitled on the single's label as "Ain't It A Shame"), released by Imperial Records in 1955, was a hit, eventually selling a million copies. It reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 10 on the pop chart. The song is ranked number 438 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
The song gained national fame after being re-recorded by the white recording artist Pat Boone. Domino's version soon became more popular, bringing his music to the mass market a half-dozen years after his first recording, "The Fat Man".After "Ain't That a Shame", mainstream artists began covering Domino's songs. Teresa Brewer, for instance, performed Domino's version of the folk song "Bo Weevil".
A version of the song by the Four Seasons reached number 22 on the Billboard charts in 1963.According to legend, Pat Boone suggested changing the title and lyrics to "Isn't That a Shame" to make it more appealing to a broader audience but was dissuaded by his producers. Nevertheless, Boone's recording of the song in 1955 was his first Billboard number-one single. Domino complimented Boone's cover of the song. Boone liked to tell a story about a concert at which Domino invited Boone on stage, showed a big gold ring and said, "Pat Boone bought me this ring," since Domino and Bartholomew, as the song's writers, received royalties on it from record sales or radio airplay of other performers' cover versions of their song. "Ain't That a Shame" was the first song that John Lennon learned to play. He later covered it on the album Rock 'n' Roll.Blue Monday (Fats Domino song)
"Blue Monday" is a song originally written by Dave Bartholomew, first recorded by Smiley Lewis and issued as a single, in January 1954, on Imperial Records (catalog # 5268). The single, with a slow-rocking beat, features an instrumental electric guitar solo by Lewis.
It was later popularized in a recording by Fats Domino in 1956, also on Imperial (catalog # 5417), on which the songwriting credit was shared between him and Bartholomew. Most later versions have credited Bartholomew and Domino as co-writers. The baritone saxophone solo is by Herbert Hardesty.Domino's version was featured in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It. It became one of the earliest rhythm and blues songs to make the Billboard magazine pop music charts, peaking at number five and reaching the number one spot on the R&B Best Sellers chart. It reached number 23 on the UK Singles Chart It was included on the 1957 album This Is Fats and the 1959 album Fats Domino sings 12,000,000 Records.
The song title was used for a 2006 biography of Domino by Rick Coleman.Blueberry Hill (song)
"Blueberry Hill" is a popular song published in 1940 best remembered for its 1950s rock n' roll version by Fats Domino. The music was written by Vincent Rose, the lyrics by Larry Stock and Al Lewis. It was recorded six times in 1940. Victor Records released the recording by the Sammy Kaye Orchestra with vocals by Tommy Ryan on May 31, 1940. Gene Krupa's version was issued on OKeh Records on June 3 and singer Mary Small recorded a vocal version on the same label with Nat Brandwynne's orchestra, released June 20, 1940. Other 1940 recordings were by: The Glenn Miller Orchestra on Bluebird Records (10768), Kay Kyser, Russ Morgan, Gene Autry (also in the 1941 film The Singing Hill), Connee Boswell, and Jimmy Dorsey. The largest 1940 hit was by The Glenn Miller Orchestra, where it reached number one.
Louis Armstrong's 1949 recording charted in the Billboard Top 40, reaching number 29. It was an international hit in 1956 for Fats Domino and has become a rock and roll standard. It reached number two for three weeks on the Billboard Top 40 charts, becoming his biggest pop hit, and spent eight non-consecutive weeks at number one on the R&B Best Sellers chart. The version by Fats Domino was also ranked number 82 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.Bo Weevil
"Bo Weevil" is a song written by Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino and performed by Teresa Brewer. It reached #17 the U.S. pop chart in 1956.The single's A-side, "A Tear Fell" reached #2 in the UK and #5 in the U.S.Don't You Lie to Me
"Don't You Lie to Me" (sometimes called "I Get Evil") is a blues song recorded by Tampa Red in 1940. It became a standard of the blues, with recordings by various artists. The song was also interpreted by rock and roll pioneers Fats Domino and Chuck Berry.Fats Domino Rock and Rollin'
Fats Domino Rock and Rollin' is a 1956 album by Fats Domino.Fats Domino discography
This is the discography for the American rock singer Fats Domino.I'm Walkin'
"I'm Walkin'" is a 1957 song by Fats Domino, written together with frequent collaborator Dave Bartholomew. The single was Domino's third release in a row to reach No. 1 on the R&B Best Sellers chart, where it stayed for six weeks. It also broadened the singer's crossover appeal, peaking at No. 4 on the pop singles chart. The prominent saxophone solo was played by Herbert Hardesty. Frank Fields was on bass and Earl Palmer was on drums.I'm in Love Again (song)
"I'm in Love Again" is a 1956 single by Fats Domino. The song was written by Domino and his longtime collaborator, Dave Bartholomew. The single was Domino's third number one on the R&B Best Sellers list, where it stayed at the top for seven weeks. "I'm in Love Again" also peaked at number three for two weeks on the pop chart. "I'm in Love Again" was a double-sided hit for Domino as the B-side of the pop standard, "My Blue Heaven".I Want You to Know (Fats Domino song)
"I Want You to Know" is a 1957 Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew song. Since Domino was on the road touring Bartholomew hired Allen Toussaint to lay down the piano track. The other side of the single was "The Big Beat" , which although listed second on the cover, also became a hit.
"I Want to Know" was covered by The Everly Brothers in 1960 on their album It's Everly Time. It was also covered by the early reggae artist Millie Small on her 1965 album Millie Small Sings Fats Domino.Lady Madonna
"Lady Madonna" is a song by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. In March 1968, it was released as a mono single, backed with "The Inner Light". The song was recorded on 3 and 6 February 1968 before the Beatles left for India, and its rhythm and blues-inspired style signalled a "back to basics" approach to writing and recording for the group following the psychedelic experimentation of the previous two years. This single was the last release by the band on Parlophone in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 1 for the two weeks beginning 27 March, and Capitol Records in the United States, where it debuted at number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending 23 March and reached number 4 from the week ending 20 April through the week ending 4 May. All subsequent releases, starting with "Hey Jude" in August 1968, were released on their own label, Apple Records, under EMI distribution, until the late 1970s, when Capitol and Parlophone re-released old material.
The song, which was recorded in five takes, made its first album appearance in stereo on the 1970 collection Hey Jude. The recording began with three takes of the basic rhythm track, with McCartney on piano and Ringo Starr playing the drums with brushes.My Girl Josephine
"My Girl Josephine" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino recorded the song on Imperial Records (Imperial 5704) in 1960, and it charted #7 on the Billboard R&B charts and #14 on the Billboard pop charts. The song is also listed and recorded as "Josephine" and "Hello Josephine" in various cover versions.New Orleans rhythm and blues
New Orleans rhythm and blues is a style of rhythm and blues music that originated in the U.S. city of New Orleans. Most popular from 1948 to 1955, it was a direct precursor to rock and roll and strongly influenced ska. Instrumentation typically includes drums, bass, piano, horns, electric guitar, and vocals. The style is characterized by syncopated "second line" rhythms, a strong backbeat, and soulful vocals. Artists such as Roy Brown, Dave Bartholomew, and Fats Domino are representative of the New Orleans R&B sound.Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino
Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino, released in Europe as Carry On Rockin', is the 1955 debut album by R&B pianist and vocalist Fats Domino, compiling a number of his hits and other material, some of which would soon become hits. The album, which featured a
woodcut portrait of the musician, reached #17 on the Billboard "Pop Albums" chart. It is believed to have been produced by engineer Bunny Robyn due to the notation on the cover "A Robyn Recording".The Fat Man (song)
"The Fat Man" is a song by American rhythm and blues recording artist Fats Domino. It was written by Domino and Dave Bartholomew, and recorded on December 10, 1949. It is often cited as one of the first rock and roll records.Valley of Tears (song)
"Valley of Tears" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew and performed by Fats Domino. It reached #2 on the U.S. R&B chart, #8 on the U.S. pop chart, and #25 on the UK Singles Chart in 1957. It was featured on his 1957 album This is Fats.The single's B-side, "It's You I Love", reached #6 on the U.S. pop chart in 1957.Walking to New Orleans
"Walking to New Orleans" is a 1960 song by Bobby Charles, written for and recorded by Fats Domino.
Domino was a hero of Charles. Domino had previously recorded the Charles tune "Before I Grow Too Old". When Domino stopped on tour in Lafayette, Louisiana, he invited Charles into his dressing room, and regretted he did not have a copy of his new record to give to Charles, but invited Charles to come visit him in Domino's home of New Orleans. Charles replied, "I don't have a car. If I'd go, I'd have to walk." Afterwards, the thought remained on Charles's mind, and he said he wrote the song for Domino in some 15 minutes.
After he got to New Orleans to accept Domino's invitation, Charles sang "Walking to New Orleans" for Domino. Domino was enthusiastic about the number and made a few modifications to it, including adding a quote from his earlier hit, "Ain't That A Shame". Dave Bartholomew made an orchestration for the backup band, and Domino with Bartholomew and band recorded it in Cosimo Matassa's studio on Rampart Street.
After the recording was made, Bartholomew decided to overdub a string section from the New Orleans Symphony. Use of classical strings was unusual for early rock and roll. Domino was at first somewhat surprised when Bartholomew played back the new version with strings, but warmed to the distinctive sweet melancholy sound it added. The strings were arranged by Milton Bush, a trombonist who was the first-call string arranger at Cosimo's Studio. Bush wrote the arrangements standing up in 10 minutes while Domino looked on. He basically had the strings mimic the melody in the previous phrase. When finished, Domino asked Bush how much he wanted for the arrangement. Bush figured that $1 a minute was pretty good, so he charged Fats $10. The song went on to sell over two million copies. The record was a hit, released on Imperial Records, reaching #6 on the pop chart and #2 on the R&B chart.In 2007, Neil Young covered the song on the album Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino.