Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017), known as Fats Domino, was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Born in New Orleans to a French Creole family, Domino signed to Imperial Records in 1949. His first single “The Fat Man” is cited by some historians as the first rock and roll single and the first to sell more than 1 million copies. Domino continued to work with the song’s co-writer Dave Bartholomew, contributing his distinctive rolling piano style to Lloyd Price‘s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (1952) and scoring a string of mainstream hits beginning with “Ain’t That a Shame” (1955). Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 US pop hits. By 1955, five of his records had sold more than a million copies, being certified gold.
Domino was shy and modest by nature but made a significant contribution to the rock and roll genre. Elvis Presley declared Domino a “huge influence on me when I started out” and described him as “the real king of rock ‘n’ roll”. The Beatles were also heavily influenced by Domino. The artist himself did not define his work as rock and roll, saying of the genre “It wasn’t anything but the same rhythm and blues I’d been playing down in New Orleans”. Four of Domino’s records were named to the Grammy Hall of Fame for their significance: “Blueberry Hill“, “Ain’t That A Shame“, “Walking to New Orleans” and “The Fat Man”.
Video: Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (Austin City Limits 1205)