Remembering Fats Domino ~ K.B. Pellegrino

I listened last night to an oldie, the song “I’m Walkin'” and my feet did just that; they walked, they jumped, they danced, and I thought of the man whose music I can never forget. I thought how meaningful it is to have music and not just letters in my life. I write and I love writing. I invent characters based on my experiences; at least I think I do??? Maybe I base my characters on a reenactment of how I think the people I have met in life were really thinking and not just remembering what they did. Who knows. The sources used in writing fiction are many. In contrast to writing which requires one to read, music allows the listener to sit in a chair or lay on a couch or even be working and still be ensconced in the sound. With Fats Domino, one really finds it difficult to listen and not move. And now I confess. I confess that I listen to music when I write. If I listen to Fats Domino, my writing speeds up. If I listen to Mozart, then my writing is slower. To say that music has no effect on me and my productivity would be an out right lie. Below I quote some words on Fats Domino whose birthday is today. It is fitting. He was born in New Orleans and died in New Orleans in 2017. I ask you, Readers, what other city could have presented us with this man?

From this day in history, I quote,

“Antoine Domino was the youngest of eight children born into a Creole family that spoke French as its first language. Domino’s father was a fiddle player, but it was his much older brother-in-law, Harrison Verrett, who taught young Antoine the piano. By age 10, Antoine was playing professionally in New Orleans honky-tonks, where he earned the nickname “Fats” from bandleader Bill Diamond. In 1949, he caught the eye and ears of trumpeter, band leader and Imperial Records talent scout Dave Bartholomew, and a legendary partnership was born.

The first record Fats Domino put out with Bartholomew as his producer/collaborator was 1949’s “The Fat Man,” a big, foot-stomping boogie-woogie that established Domino’s signature sound. Over the next half-decade, Domino’s backbeat-heavy, rolling piano played a vital role in defining the shape of rock and roll. “Ain’t That A Shame” needed a boost from Pat Boone’s white-bread cover version before finding its way to the pop charts in 1955, but that breakthrough paved the way for two more top-five pop hits in “Blueberry Hill” and “I’m Walkin’” in 1956 and 1957, respectively.”


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