Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino, 85, was honored Wednesday at his home by New Orleans Jazz Orchestra founder Irvin Mayfield and keyboardist Davell Crawford. The longtime Lower 9th Ward resident now lives in a gated community in Harvey. At the peak of his career in the 1950s, he was second only to Elvis Presley in cranking out hit records.
Domino’s ascendancy began in 1949 with his million-selling recording of “The Fat Man.” By the early 1960s, he had racked up 35 Top 40 records including the No. 1 hits “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill” and “Blue Monday.”
“He paved the way for black rhythm and blues artists to make that crossover to rock ’n’ roll,” said Rick Coleman, author of the Domino biography “Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ’n’ Roll.”
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will honor the music of Domino and other rhythm and blues greats with a show Friday called “The New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Throwback at Tipitina’s.” Crawford, Mayfield, Irma Thomas and Charmaine Neville will perform rhythm and blues classics including songs by Domino.
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