Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fats Domino

I guess this goes back a ways.

All the songs up until Walking To New Orleans are from The Legendary Masters Series, which was a double album on United Artists, part of a series that included Ricky Nelson and Eddie Cochrane. And I picked that up, where else, at the Centennial Library.

And the last bunch of songs, apart from a couple singles, was from an collection whose name I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure that I got it at A&A, which was a chain, and I think that I got it at the Eaton Place location, and they also had a store in St. Vital.
Well, Fats’ last hit was in 1969, it was a cover of Lady Madonna, and it wasn’t really a hit, it spent 2 weeks at the bottom of the top 100, literally, it only ever reached no. 100, but prior to that he had 65 singles on the top 100 and that was between 1955 and 1964, and about half of them are here, mostly the more popular ones.

Fats Domino:

The Fat Man – A bit of a self portrait. He didn’t dwell on his weight, unlike Billy Stewart who repeatedly referred to himself as the fat boy. This is from the late 40s.
Hey La Bas – Sung in New Orleans Cajun French I guess.
Goin’ Home
Country Boy – This doesn’t belong here but the collection got a bit screwed up. This is a song about a simple guy with a simple life. This is from the late winter / early spring of 1960.
Please Don’t Leave Me – This one shows up here and there. It was The Fontane Sisters who put it on the charts
Goin’ To The River – He’s not just going to the river, but he’s about to jump right in.
Ain’t That A Shame – The song that put Fats on the map. Reached number 10 in the summer of ’55. It was Pat Boone who put it at the top. There is a version by The Four Seasons that is wholly other, and Paul McCartney did it on one of his live albums. The version on American Graffiti has a vocal chorus superimposed; avoid it.
Poor Me – This is Ain’t That A Shame redux, but at least Fats assures us that though he is living in misery, he is not going to kill himself.
I’m In Love Again – The Fontane Sisters also had a crack at this. So did Ricky Nelson. From the summer of ’56.
When My Dreamboat Comes Home – From the late summer of ’56.
Blueberry Hill – Another biggie. This was an oldie that Fats revived and put on the charts in late 1956. Louis Armstrong did it also. There is a cover by The Dave Clark Five
My Blue Heaven – The flip of I’m In Love Again. Also from the summer of ‘56
The Rooster Song – Another re-do of Ain’t That A Shame. He even sings “ain’t that a shame” on the chorus.
I’m In The Mood For Love – I bet. Fats the crooner.
Blue Monday – From winter of 1957, a working man’s lament. Fats takes us through of tour of the week. Love those piano triplets…
I’m Walkin’ – From the spring of ’57. This was covered by Ricky Nelson and helped to launch his career. A real rocker…
It’s You I Love – Fats’ love songs aren’t very romantic, but I guess that’s his style. Playful, I guess. This is from the summer of ’57.
The Big Beat – Music about music, not so unusual. The big beat keeps you rockin’ in your seat he says. Isn’t the point to get up and dance? From late ’57.
Valley Of Tears – Fats’ sad songs are never so sad. He always sounds just a bit too jolly. This is from the summer of ’57, the b side of It’s You I Love
I Want You To Know – Another love song of course. From late ’57, the b side of The Big Beat.
Whole Lotta Lovin’ – Not to be confused with Whole Lotta Love by Zeppelin. This is another one of those bouncing rocking paeans to his affection for his current flame, complete with kissing sounds. From winter ‘58/’59.
I Want To Walk You Home – A Bit lecherous this. From autumn of ’59.
I’m Ready – Not the Muddy Waters song. But he’s ready for the same thing. From the summer of ’59.
Yes My Darling – A marriage proposal. From the late winter of 1958.
I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday – From the fall of ’59.
Walking To New Orleans – A loping ballad, with those piano triplets up there again, front and centre. First time we’ve heard strings on a Fats Domino records. From the summer of 1960.
Be My Guest – From late 1959
I Hear You Knockin’ – A hit for Gale Storm in 1955, Fats version didn’t release it until 1961, and it was the flip of Jambalaya. I like this one, a tale of go-take-a-hike. I learned the song from the blazing hot Dave Edmunds version from 1970.
Let The Four Winds Blow – From the summer of 1961. No relation to Four Strong Winds by Ian Tyson
Margie – From the summer of ’59, the flip of I’m Ready. I’ve never known anybody named Margie.
My Girl Josephine – From late 1960. I’ve don’t think I ever knew anyone called Josephine. Jerry Jaye did a remake in 1967
Three Nights A Week – Piano triplets and pizzicato strings. From the autumn of 1960. The title refers to her being gone. This is not hip hop, which anyway would have seven nights a week and then some…
Shu Rah – From spring 1961. It seems that the title refers to someone’s name. How odd. I wonder if that’s her first and last names, Ms Rah, or is, like, Shu Rah Smith or something.
My Real Name – His real name, apparently, is neither Fatso nor Domino, but The Handy Man. Jimmy Jones beat him to it (the one James Taylor did). This is from the summer of ’62.
What A Price – When I got married, all my friends complained that I was no fun anymore. DJ used to hang out, go to pub. Now he just goes home after school. And so Fats complains. Oh what a price I had to pay for loving you, he says. And what price? He had to give up gambling and rambling and staying out all night. Oh my. He sounds very sad, and it’s not so clear whether he and his loved one are still together. Presumably they are, or else he could stay out as long as he wanted to. This was from the winter of 1961.
Jambalaya (On The Bayou) – Fats goes country, and tackles Hank Williams no less. Well it is about Louisiana after all. From late ’61. We shall come across this again. And again, and again...
You Win Again – More country, more Hank. A relationship as a contest. You win again. From winter / spring ’62. Jerry Lee Lewis also covered this.
I’m Going Home – Not to be confused with Goin’ Home. He’s going home to his woman, though it’s not so clear where he was.
Don’t Come Knockin’ – A song after my own heart. Not to be confused with I Hear You Knocking, but the same idea, with strings.
Bo Weevil – Not the Brook Benton song, which was called The Boll Weevil Song anyway. So many songs about the crop-eating insect. From the spring of ’56.

1 comment:

VSL Poltroon said...

I got this email on June 8, 2010


You do a good job.....

Some mistakes, but nicely done.

"Valley Of Tears" was the "A" side of Fats' 45. (Not the "B" side).

Best Regards,


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