Fats Domino on Blueberry Hill
This is the rocker who sang one of my all time favorite songs “Blueberry Hill” and I found a thrill in every note. His full name is Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino, Jr. or in rock and roll simply Fats Domino. He’s an American R&B and rock and roll pianist, singer and songwriter. Before 1955 he had released five gold records and has 35 Top 40 Hits in the U.S. Fats Domino comes from New Orleans, Louisiana and has a mixture of African-American heritage and French Creole background. Music was prominent in his family his father was a well-known violinist and his uncle was a jazz guitarist.
Fats Domino rose to stardom with his first song “The Fat Man” in 1950 which had sold a million copies by 1953. He had lots of prominent musicians in his band and the sound was incredible. In 1955 he came out with a Top Ten hit “Ain’t That a Shame”. He scored big with his first album Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino which was released in 1956. That same year he recorded my favorite and a favorite of many “Blueberry Hill” which rose to number 2 in the Top 40 and number 1 on the R&B charts and stayed there for eleven weeks and went on to sell over 5 million copies. Other hits followed “When My Dreamboat Comes Home”, “I’m Walkin’”, “Valley of Tears”, “It’s You I Love”, “Whole Lotta Loving”, “I Want to Walk You Home”, and “Be My Guest”. Most of his songs just got you up and dancing along. Fats Domino appeared in two movies in 1956 Shake Rattle, and Roll and The Girl Can’t Help It. His hit “The Big Beat” was featured on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
The hits continued to roll out with “Walkin’ to New Orleans” in 1960. Soon he had lots of competition when the British Invasion changed the face of rock and roll. In 1979 he made a cameo appearance in the movie “Any Which Way You Can” and this resulted in the country hit “Whiskey Heaven’. In the 80s Fats Domino made the decision to stop touring and remain in his beloved New Orleans. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He still performs annually at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. He took one last tour to Europe in 1995 and in 1998 President Clinton presented him with the National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone magazine listed him at number 25 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2007 Fats Domino was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
One last thing about Fats Domino and his fabulous “Blueberry Hill” everyone who ever watched the hit TV show "Happy Days" must have had a smile like I did every time Richie Cunningham played by Ron Howard came down the stairs at home ready for a date singing the beginning of this song, “I’ve found my thrill,,,,”