The streets of New Orleans, Louisiana during the 1920s were filled with the sound of sweet and groovy bebop (an early form of jazz music). The genre of jazz caught the attention of the American public, took it by storm, and has held the value of one of the most influential forms of music in history. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Antoine Dominique “Fats” Domino, better known for his stage name “Fats Domino”, was instantly exposed to the groovy musical genre of jazz.
At the young age of 14, Domino was already performing at local New Orleans bars with his band, the Solid Senders, after he was scouted by Billy Diamond, the bandleader. Billy Diamond was also the creator of his stage name “Fats Domino”; Diamond thought Domino reminded him of renowned pianists Fats Weller and Fats Pichon. After successful performances night after night, Domino was eventually signed under Imperial Records and released his first hit “Junkers Blues”, a song about drug addicts, which sold over a million copies and eventually made it to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.
Domino, by the end of his career, had released numerous songs that made it to the top ten during his time. However, Domino also went through a period of struggle as he was one of the few entertainers during the period of racial segregation. This led to limited playing time in certain radio stations as well as riots at some of his concerts. As Domino always believed that jazz music was for all people to enjoy regardless of race or ethnicity, his concerts often involved alcohol, racial integration, and partying. As time went on and his music gained public acclaim, his music received wider radio airplay, which eventually led to him gaining more public acceptance.
At the later stages of his career, Domino was devastatingly affected by Hurricane Katrina as he lost his house from the flooding. Also, due to the hurricane, none of the people that knew him could contact him, leading to people believing that Domino was killed during the hurricane. Eventually, the public got news about Domino’s state and many, including Former President George W. Bush who replaced Domino’s lost National Medal of Arts, reached out to Domino.
His great career came to an abrupt end on October 24, 2017, when he died from natural causes according to reports.