Today Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. superstar of R&B and Rock n Roll and enduring American icon turns 86! As you hopefully know, #FatsDomino was one of the most influential musicians of the early rock n roll era. Today he's viewed as a rather innocuous figure, however it was nearly 6 decades ago at a Fat Domino San Jose concert in 1956 that the first "rock n roll riot" occurred, sending shock waves of fear through the heart of conservative America.
The incident was described in a 1986 article in the LA Times. Here's what happened when Domino's band stepped out for an intermission, "As the hall quieted, someone near the back of the ballroom threw a beer bottle toward the stage. It crashed harmlessly onto the nearly deserted dance floor. Within a moment another bottle shattered on the floor and then a third. It seemed that a fight involving no more than five or six people was heating up. But others joined in. The overhead lights were hit and exploded, raining glass down onto the floor. Fist fights broke out. Within minutes chaos prevailed. Silvia couldn't believe his eyes. A free-for-all was taking place in his precious dance hall. People were clawing, screaming, kicking, biting, punching and beating at each other. "Boys fought boys and even girls," he remembered years later. "Girls were slugging and scratching at one another."
Of course much of the push back against rock n roll was purely born out of racism. Black musicians like Fats Domino who broke through the walls of musical segregation really did leave an enormous lasting impact on mainstream American cultural. And for that he, like his fellow birthday buddy Johnny Cash, was much more than a musician. He was a FORCE.
My selection of the day comes from Domino's foray into early soul music. It's one of the final 45s he recorded in New Orleans, produced by his long time musical partner Dave Bartholomew. Within a year he would switch record labels and under his new contract agreement, he would be required to record in Nashville with producer Bill Justice, instead of in his home town of New Orleans. His winning formula would be broken, and the hits stopped coming.
But today it's 1962 again and the twist is all the rage. Take a moment to Dance with Mr. Domino!
DJ Action Slacks
I'm excited to highlight some of my favorite records in a variety of genres (soul, R&B, classic country, rockabilly, oldies, garage rock, etc). These won't all necessarily be "dance" records per se. They will all be records that I believe deserve a special listen. I simply love good music, rare or not. Hopefully you will spend some time here and love music right along with me! Lets give this a shot!