Fats Domino: RIP

Fats Domino must have been one hellva nice guy. Even that angry crank Clint Eastwood liked him, or at least liked him enough to put him in one of his movies.

Then again, it seems like all the first class talents of New Orleans were nice guys, Toussaint, Satchmo and, of course, Fats. As Louis Armstrong did for Jazz and New Orleans, Fats, in turn, did for Rock and Roll and the Crescent City. He gave it a place in that genre and he did it with style and grace.

Literally and figuratively, he was bigger then life. And do I have to mention the instrument he used to deliver the good times? He was Professor Longhair with better singing and less risqué lyrics. In other words, nice songs from a nice guy:

1) Whole Lotta Loving: You know the big three (Ain’t That A Shame, I’m Walkin and Blueberry Hill) but give this sweet and rollicking love song a spin. The “kisses” are just a perfect touch and the man lets that piano roll…

2) Bye Bye Baby: Here is a break up song from the guys perspective which is nothing new subject wise. Then what’s the difference? No malice here. Just goodbye. Well played!

3) I Know: Suppose you wake up one day and decide you want to learn how to play New Orleans style piano. Just put this one on and listen. This is how it is done.

4) I Want To Walk You Home: With all the fine players kicking around the City, Fats could easily find some primo talent to supplement his brilliant piano playing. Here we have an organ and guitar to add color to another sweet love song.

5) One For The Highway: Other then I’m Walkin, Fats music was not the heart and heat of a party. He was the warm up and the cool down. So we have this fine mid-tempo song to grab a beverage to. And, of course, the title express an appropriate sentiment upon his passing.

I should mention that Fats had critical help in the early years from stellar producer Dave Bartholomew. Dave is still with us at 98 and we should all send him good wishes and blessings on this day. And somewhere in the great beyond a piano is rolling and a bigger then life man is smiling and singing because nice guys go to heaven. Thanks Fats!

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