Today marks the 88th birthday of Fats Domino, one of the great living legends of American music. To mark the occasion PBS will be airing a one-hour documentary entitled Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock and Roll. Check your local schedule here.
When we speak of the birth of rock and roll, the names most often cited in popular culture are probably Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley or Carl Perkins, but Fats Domino’s contributions to rock are no less important. Fats Domino was rockin’ on 88 keys before the term "rock" became synonymous with guitars. His name belongs among other great Louisiana piano men such as Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. Fats Domino’s early recordings with Dave Bartholomew and legendary drummer Earl Palmer at Cosimo Matassa’s studio are among the most influential in early rock and roll history and are worthy of all the recognition they receive. He pioneered the sound of early Rhythm and Blues by blending together the sounds of swinging Big Band jazz and Cuban rumba and mambo records.