Why Every Rock Musician Should Praise This Man

Fats Domino/Roland GodefroyWikimedia/CC-SA-3.0

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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.” - Elvis Presley

Antoine “Fats” Domino’s unmatched piano skills made him a musical prodigy and ballooned his career as a Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer. After his first single, “The Fat Man,” became the first Rock ‘n’ Roll record to sell over 1 million copies in 1949, Domino solidified his spot as a music legend and never looked back.

Raking up 23 gold plaques and selling more than 65 million singles, Domino set the bar impressively high for his competition. Elvis Presley is the only Rock ‘n’ Roller to sell more records than Domino, and he credits his success to the example set by his Black predecessor.

Born in New Orleans, Domino grew up with music running through his veins as his mother and father both played gigs locally. At 14, Domino dropped out of school and took up a bunch of odd jobs until he met famed New Orleans jazz artist Billy Diamond, who offered him a spot in his band.

Despite worldwide recognition, Domino faced the same discrimination as the average African-American in the mid-1900s. White-owned hotels and restaurants frequently denied him entry into their establishments, forcing him to drive several miles away from where he performed just to get a bite to eat and a good night’s rest.

Domino had entire venues ready to cut-a-rug, and left a resounding impression on anyone who had the privilege of hearing his infectious music live. His ability to draw inspiration from ordinary events in his day-to-day life separated him from the pack and allowed him to infuse his Creole roots into what would later become a staple in America music --- Rock ‘n’ Roll.

On October 24th, 2017 Fats Domino passed away from natural causes, leaving the Rock ‘n’ Roll community heartbroken. To take a stroll down memory lane and pay homage to the late great Fats Domino, listen to Greatest Hits: Walking To New Orleans.  

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