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Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017|7:58 a.m.
BRAND-NEW ORLEANS (AP)– Fats Domino, the pleasant rock ‘n’ roll leader whose constant, pounding piano and easy baritone assisted change music while honoring the customs of the Crescent City, passed away Tuesday. He was 89.
Mark Bone, primary private investigator with the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, coroner’s workplace, stated Domino passed away of natural causes at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
In appearance, he was no Elvis Presley. He stood 5-feet-5 and weighed more than 200 pounds, with a wide, boyish smile and a hairstyle as flat as an album cover. But Domino offered more than 110 million records, with hits including “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t It a Shame” and other standards of rock ‘n’ roll.
He was among the very first 10 honorees named to the Rock-and-roll Hall of Popularity, and the Wanderer Record Guide compared him to Benjamin Franklin, the beloved old man of an innovative movement.
His vibrant performance style and warm vocals drew crowds for 5 decades. One of his show-stopping stunts was playing the piano while standing, throwing his body against it with the beat of the music and bumping the grand piano throughout the phase.
Domino’s 1956 variation of “Blueberry Hill” was picked for the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of historical sound recordings deserving of preservation. The preservation board kept in mind that Domino insisted on carrying out the tune in spite of his producer’s doubts, adding that Domino’s “New Orleans roots appear in the Creole inflected cadences that include richness and depth to the performance.”
Domino became a global star but stayed real to his hometown, where his fate was initially unknown after Typhoon Katrina struck in August 2005. It ended up that he and his family were rescued by boat from his home, where he lost 3 pianos and dozens of gold and platinum records, together with other memorabilia.
Lots of wondered if he would ever return to the stage. Set up to carry out at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Celebration in 2006, he just tipped his hat to thousands of cheering fans.
But in Might 2007, he was back, performing at Tipitina’s music club in New Orleans. Fans cheered– and some sobbed– as Domino played “I’m Walkin’,” “Ain’t It a Shame,” “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Blueberry Hill” and a host of other hits.
That performance was an emphasize during a number of rough years. After losing their house and practically all their valuables to the floods, his other half of more than 50 years, Rosemary, died in April 2008.
Domino moved to the New Orleans residential area of Harvey after the storm however would typically visit his publishing home, an extension of his old house in the Lower 9th Ward, inspiring lots of with his determination to stay in the city he liked.
“Fats embodies whatever excellent about New Orleans,” his buddy David Lind said in a 2008 interview. “He’s warm, fun-loving, spiritual, creative and simple. You do not get more New Orleans than that.”
The son of a violin gamer, Antoine Domino Jr. was born on Feb. 26, 1928, to a family that grew to include nine kids. As a youth, he taught himself popular piano styles– ragtime, blues and boogie-woogie– after his cousin left an old upright in your house. Fats Waller and Albert Ammons were early influences.
He quit school at age 14, and worked days in a factory while playing and singing in regional juke joints at night. In 1949, Domino was playing at the Hideaway Club for $3 a week when he was signed by Imperial record company.
He taped his first song, “The Fat Guy,” in the back of a tiny French Quarter recording studio.
“They call me the Fat Guy, due to the fact that I weigh 200 pounds,” he sang. “All the girls, they enjoy me, ’cause I know my way around.”
In 1955, he broke into the white pop charts with “Ain’t it an Embarassment”– but in fact sang the lyrics as “ain’t that a pity.” The song was covered blandly by Pat Boone as “Ain’t That an Embarassment” and rocked out years later on by Inexpensive Technique. Domino enjoyed a parade of successes through the early 1960s, including “Be My Guest” and “I’m All set.” Another hit, “I’m Walkin,'” became the debut single for Ricky Nelson.
Domino appeared in the rock ‘n’ roll film “The Woman Cannot Assist It” and was among the very first black performers to be included in popular music programs, starring with Friend Holly and the Everly Brothers. He also assisted bridge rock ‘n’ roll and other designs– even country/western, recording Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” and Bobby Charles’ “Walkin’ to New Orleans.”
Like much of his peers, Domino’s appeal reduced in the 1960s as British and psychedelic rock held sway.
Domino informed Ebony magazine that he stopped taping since business wanted him to update his design.
“I refused to alter,” he stated. “I needed to stick to my own style that I have actually constantly used or it just would not be me.”
Antoine and Rosemary Domino raised eight kids in the very same ramshackle neighborhood where he grew up, however they did it in style– in a white estate, trimmed in pink, yellow and lavender. The front double doors opened into an atrium with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and ivory dominos embeded in a white marble floor.
In 1988, all of New Orleans seemed to be speaking about him after he apparently paid in money for two Cadillacs and a $130,000 Rolls-Royce. When the salesperson asked if he wished to call his bank about financing, Domino smiled and stated, “I am the bank.”
In 1998, he ended up being the very first simply rock ‘n’ roll artist to be granted the National Medal for the Arts. However he mentioned his age and didn’t make the trip to the White House to get the medal from President Clinton.
That was normal. Aside from unusual appearances in New Orleans, he dodged the spotlight in his later years, choosing not to appear in public or perhaps to provide interviews.