Fats Domino dies aged 89: Tributes paid to rock ‘n’ roll pioneer

Fats Domino dies aged 89: Tributes paid to rock ‘n’ roll pioneer

October 26, 2017   03:18 pm

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Fats Domino, the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music, has died at the age of 89.

He died on Tuesday, according to Mark Bone, chief investigator with Jefferson Parish coroner’s office in Louisiana.

At least in appearance, Domino was no Elvis Presley, standing at 5ft 5in and weighing more than 200lb, with a wide, boyish smile and a haircut as flat as an album cover.

But he sold more than 110 million records, including 22 million singles with hits including Blueberry Hill, Ain’t That A Shame and other rock ‘n’ roll standards.

Domino was one of the first 10 acts named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Rolling Stone Record Guide likened him to Benjamin Franklin, the beloved old man of a revolutionary movement.

His dynamic performance style and warm vocals drew crowds for five decades. One of his show-stopping stunts was playing the piano while standing, throwing his body against it with the beat of the music and bumping the grand piano across the stage.

His 1956 version of Blueberry Hill was selected for the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry of historic sound recordings worthy of preservation.

The preservation board noted that Domino insisted on performing the song despite his producer’s doubts, adding that Domino’s “New Orleans roots are evident in the Creole-inflected cadences that add richness and depth to the performance”.

Domino became a global star but stayed true to his home town, where his fate was initially unknown after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. It turned out that he and his family had been rescued by boat from his home, where he lost three pianos and dozens of gold and platinum records, along with other memorabilia.

- Liverpool Echo 

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