Rock and Roll - Fats Domino

Nihar T

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How did Fats Domino change Rock and Roll/Rhythm and Blues forever?

Fats Domino started his music career in his origination. Domino is famously known for his upcoming in New Orleans, Louisiana. His genres came as followed: Rock and roll, New Orleans rhythm, and the blues. Throughout his career, domino is most well known regarding his piano playing. Fats domino was one of the best piano players of the 20th century. One of his biggest hits was his first recording, "The Fat Man" (1949). This was one of a series of rhythm-and-blues hits that sold anywhere from 500,000 to 1,000,000 copies. He was very popular and appealed to the audience as he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Dominos new style appealed to the audience. His soulful piano playing brought a new world of music into Rock and roll and the rhythm and blues forever. As someone who constantly stuck to his roots, playing many gigs in his hometown of New Orleans, he was well respected and truly idolized for many generations of artists.

What components of Fats Domino made him so appealing in the age of music between the 1950s-1970s?

Not known too much for a crazy Rock and roll lifestyle, Domino's smooth rhythm in soulful jazz gave rise and led to a transition to Rock and roll. Some of his characteristics that really stood out were: boogie-woogie piano playing and drawling, Creole-infected vocals, well tutored and encouraged by his family to support a music career. Another component of Fats Domino that just made him so darn irresistible was his beautiful piano playing. Many revered historians and rock stars admit that Fats Domino initiated the revolution and transition between blues and rhythm to the awesome rock and roll! How did these components bode well for Domino? Well, Fats Domino utilized his skills as a pianist, singer, and songwriter and sold 65 million records. This was second most of any rocker from the fifties era (Elvis Presley). During the reign in the 50s and 60s, Domino made Billboard's pop chart 63 times and the R&B chart 59 times.

Today, what makes Fats Domino so popular and what are some of his famous songs?

As our society tends to look back on our past success and enjoy it, the 50's and 60's was a magical time for music. Classics arose such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard. No disrespect intended towards the great legends, but as time has told its story, today Fats Domino has scored more hit records than Holly, Berry, and Richard combined. Today, Domino is well revered and very popular for the homage he paid his hometown. He constantly took on many gigs and clubs in the better part of his musical career in New Orleans, and utilized components of jazz music in his blues music to pave the way for a new genre: Rock and Roll. His boogie-woogie dancing capitalized how he's famous today. Many of the dance moves originated by Domino has been taken on by many young artists today such as Usher or Lupe Fiasco. Fats Domino was also one of the first African-American men to truly make it in the music industry. He paved the way for his fellow counterparts struggling to make a name and in that regard many of the African-American community today buy his albums and support him for all the great work he has done. Some of his most famous songs include: "Ain't That a Shame", "Blueberry Hill", and "I'm Walkin'".
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CBS Interview where Domino was asked about his love for Louisiana.

Summarize the roots of Rhythm/Blues and Rock/Roll

First before I identify the roots of both, it should be noted that Domino transformed the game of rhythm and blues and really started rock and roll. Fats added components of jazz and boogie-woogie dancing to make rhythm more of a rocker game and paved the way for many artists to adopt a new rock and roll lifestyle.

Rhythm and blues or most commonly known as r&b music originated in the 1940 in predominantly African-American communities. Rooted in many urban cities and adopted by many clubs, r&b was urbane, rocking jazz with a heavy beat. Bands usually consisted of pianos, guitars, saxophones, drums, bass, etc. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy.

Rock and roll originated almost extremely afterward r&b music. How, you ask? Many artists adopted components of dancing, upbeat music and changed the tradition in many clubs. Artists such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and our guy Fats Domino dominated. They added jazz components, upbeat jungle house rock songs, and truly got more interactive with their audiences across the U.S. signaling some positive, happier tones for the country.

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Timeline of Fats Domino

Here are some of the major events that took place during Fats Domino's life.


Having signed to the Imperial label, Fats Domino cuts eight tracks at his first recording session at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans.


Fats Domino’s "Ain't That a Shame” enters the R&B chart, which it will top for 11 weeks. It will also become his first crossover hit, entering the pop charts in mid-July and peaking at #10.


Fats Domino's biggest single, "Blueberry Hill," reaches #2 on the pop chart and #11 on the R&B chart, where it will stay for11 weeks. This same month Domino appears with Big Joe Turner in the breakthrough rock and roll film Shake, Rattle and Rock, performing three songs.


Fats Domino’s last major hit, “Let the Four Winds Blow,” enters the charts. It will peak at #2 R&B and #15 pop.


After nearly 14 years on the Imperial label, Fats Domino signs with ABC-Paramount when his contract expires. He'll also record for the Mercury and Reprise labels during the Sixties.