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Rock’n’Roll Pioneer Fats Domino Dead At Age 89

Posted by Billyjam, October 25, 2017 01:23pm | Post a Comment
Album cover of Live In Austin, TX LP (also on CD) issue by Fats Domino who died today at age 89.

Today it was announced that Antoine Dominique Domino Jr., aka American music icon Fats Domino, has died at age 89. The influential  rhythm-and-blues (R&B) vocal powerhouse / boogie-woogie piano player and rock’n’roll pioneer was responsible for literally dozens of timeless hit singles from over half a century ago such as "Ain't That a Shame," “Blueberry Hill,” “I Hear You Knocking,” “The Fat Man,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Whole Lotta Lovin,” “I’m Ready,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.” The New Orleans, Louisiana born and perennially proud native, who grew up in the Big Easy’s Ninth Ward and always lived in N.O.  (famously refusing to leave his home during Hurricane Katrina in 2005), died at his latter era Louisiana home located just seven miles outside New Orleans, according to a statement by his brother-in-law Reggie Hall who was his former road manager. So far no exact cause of death has been announced.

Proudly rotund, “Fats” was long known for being an upbeat happy music loving character and the life of the  party whenever he played in clubs, beginning in his teens. From age ten Fats Domino was drawn to the piano, an instrument that he mostly self-taught himself to play to accompany his powerful singing voice. His boogie-woogie styled playing and commanding soulful head-nodding singing, that was often sprinkled with words he’d make up, led to him landing a record deal at age 21 with Imperial Records. His first big hit for that label was “The Fat Man” (also his nick name) recorded in 1949 and becoming a hit two years later. That track, like many of his later hits, was technically a "rhythm and blues" song. However this African American created music would soon after morph into and/or be considered “rock’n’roll.” That was back in a racially segregated era (both societal and music chart wise) when R&B music was adapted and revised for white audiences to become rock'n'roll. Routinely black artists’ music would be covered by white artists to be marketed with a white face to a mainstream audience. A prime example was Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That a Shame” (aka “Ain’t It a Shame”) that comparatively soul-less white singer Pat Boone would cover and score a number one pop hit with. Over time Fats Domino would get the mainstream exposure and acceptance that he deserved, ultimately leaving a legacy unmatched by anyone else.

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King In The Shadows: Elvis Presley's "King Creole"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 5, 2016 01:16pm | Post a Comment

King Creole, Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones

-- Brett Stillo

Hollywood was starting to show its age in 1958. The Old Guard, who’d turned the town into an assembly King Creoleline of fantasy and illusion in the '30s and '40s, were slowing down. Staring at them right in their faces, was the future: teenagers, Rock n' Roll, and the financial reality of the Saturday night double feature at the Drive-In.

King Creole, which was released in July of that year, straddles the line, one foot planted in old school Hollywood genre storytelling of Film Noir, the other sliding towards the juvenile market of the Rock n' Roll film. The film’s storyline is firmly planted in the former: a guy with a troubled past is just looking to get a break, but fate pulls him into a raw deal that sets him up to take a big fall. However, this particular fall guy is a sneering, hip-shaking teenager, swinging to a rockin’ beat in double-four time. And oh yes, the actor playing said fall guy happens to be one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Presley was a singer who dreamed of being an actor. He idolized Brando and Dean, and King Creole was his chance to show his dramatic potential on the screen. In King Creole, Presley plays Danny Fisher, a streetwise kid living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, trying to support his down-and-out family by working in a tough joint run by notorious gangster, Maxie Fields (played with brutish charm by a seething Walter Matthau).

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21 Essential New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

Posted by Amoebite, February 8, 2016 04:01pm | Post a Comment

21 Essentisl New Orleans Records for Fat Tuesday

If you are just dipping your toe into the mighty muddy Mississippi-sludge sounds of New Orleans music, here is a list to get your mojo workin', courtesy of members of the Amoeba family who are lifelong New Orleans music fanatics.

KAREN: The New Orleans sound is that rare gumbo of musical complements: a meaty stew of blues, R&B, jazz, African rhythms, Cuban, French, country Cajun, hip hop and so much more. But what defines New Orleans music? That is the unanswerable question. You can say it's this or it's that — it's the syncopation or the bass or the raw, funky rhythm. But really it's the soul of the music — the undefinable "Get Down" or "Get On Up." This is the music that carries your soul down the block on a second-line funeral procession — and gets your feet dancing in a musky club on Frenchman Street. It is playful. Funky. Deep and swampy. Raw and dirty. Mournful. Plaintive. And everything in between. It isn't defined by a drum beat. Or maybe it is. You've just got to listen for yourself.

Here are my top picks for records you need to own. Essential New Orleans listening, in no particular order. This is my own Dirty Dozen:

the wild tchoupitoulas

The Wild Tchoupitoulas - The Wild Tchoupitoulas

R.I.P. Allen Toussaint

Posted by Billy Gil, November 10, 2015 01:37pm | Post a Comment

allen toussaint

Legendary New Orleans pianist, songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint died today. He was 77.

Toussaint died this morning of a heart attack while in his hotel room in Madrid, The Associated Press reports. Toussaint had still been touring and performing at the time of his death.

Toussaint began performing in the 1950s and wrote hundreds of hits for other artists, such classics as “Working in a Coal Mine” for Lee Dorsey and “Lady Marmalade” as performed by LaBelle. His solo career blossomed in the 1970s with releases such as his 1971 self-titled album.

Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and 2009, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. He has performed with everyone from Paul McCartney to Elvis Costello. Toussaint is considered one of New Orleans’ most celebrated artists and often performed as a headliner at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Watch a performance of Toussaint in Madrid from from video taken yesterday below.

Rebirth Brass Band Plays Live at The New Orleanian Street Fest, 11/7

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 1, 2015 02:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music is proud to partner with the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Heron Arts as a co-The New Orleanian: Rebirth Brass Band in San Franciscosponsor of The New Orleanian, a Nola-inspired art, music, food, and spirits experience featuring a live performances from the Grammy award winning Rebirth Brass Band and Quinn DeVeaux and the Blue Beat Review! On Saturday, November 7th from 6-11pm, join us at Heron Arts (7 Heron Street) in the SOMA district of San Francisco where traffic will be closed for an epic street party right there on Heron Alley.


Whether you've seen them on HBO’s Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gigs at The Maple Leaf, the Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to festivals and stages all over the world.

Philip Frazier credits the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides medical care and social services to musicians based in Nola, for saving his life after Hurricane Katrina. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Musicians Clinic in support of their endless efforts and contributions to musicians in New Orleans.

In tandem with this unique musical presentation, Heron Arts continues on its mission to promote and exhibit of compelling contemporary art. Arrive early to view a curated group show presented in partnership with New Orleans-based Red Truck Gallery. The exhibition includes important works from Brian Dettmer, Jim Bachor, Matthew Cox, Ellen Greene, Kathy Halper, Krista Hoefle, Jeremiah Lee, Tom McDonald, Darrel Morris, Chris Roberts-Antieau, Bryan Cunningham, Adam Wallacavage, Tom Haney, and Frank Relle. These artists all hold New Orleans as an important place in their artistic development. The work will remain on display through the evening performance.

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