The music world mourns again with the passing of another pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll.
Yesterday, Fats Domino died of natural causes at 89. Domino’s said to have made one of the first rock ‘n’ roll songs ever when he recorded “The Fat Man” in the late ‘40s. Musicians like Paul McCartney and Randy Newman said Domino influenced them. Bands like Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (The Clash) covered his music.
He was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, had 30 top 40 hits and 23 gold singles and was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 1998.
Born Antoine Domino Jr. in New Orleans to French Creole descent, Domino eventually earned the nickname “Fats,” not only because of his nearly 200 pound weight, but because his style of piano was similar to jazz pianists like Fats Waller and Fats Pinchon. His signature piano triplets became a staple in doo-wop and rock ‘n’ roll.
During Hurricane Katrina Domino and his family stayed put at their home in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. Rumors spread that he died; a local even spray painted “RIP Fats” on his home. However, the Coast Guard rescued him.
His home was mostly destroyed however and he spent the rest of his life in a suburb of New Orleans with one of his eight children. His home on Caffin Ave., New Orleans was restored and now stands as an ode to the healthy music scene that neighborhood helped cultivate in New Orleans.