Antoine "Fats" Domino, Jr. (born February 26, 1928) is an American pianist and singer-songwriter of French Creole descent. Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records, and he had 35 records in the U.S. Top 40. His musical style is based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums.
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Domino was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Domino family was of French Creole background. Louisiana Creole French was his first language. Antoine was born at home with the assistance of his grandmother, a midwife. His name was initially given as Anthony on his birth certificate but was later corrected. His family had newly arrived in the Lower Ninth Ward from Vacherie, Louisiana. His father was a well-known violinist.
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In the summer of 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Domino played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club, in New Orleans. Diamond nicknamed him "Fats", because Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon.
His 1956 recording of "Blueberry Hill", a 1940 song by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock (which had previously been recorded by Gene Autry, Louis Armstrong and others), reached number 2 in the Top 40 and was number 1 on the R&B chart for 11 weeks. It was his biggest hit. "Blueberry Hill" sold more than 5 million copies worldwide in 1956 and 1957. Domino had further hit singles between 1956 and 1959, including "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" (Pop number 14), "I'm Walkin'" (Pop number 4), "Valley of Tears" (Pop number 8), "It's You I Love" (Pop number 6), "Whole Lotta Loving" (Pop number 6), "I Want to Walk You Home" (Pop number 8), and "Be My Guest" (Pop number 8).
Jerry, thanks for reminding us all! Fats Domino is a "Great Talent" and was much bigger in our 50's world than we had ever imagined!
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