Flowers were being placed on Fats Domino’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Wednesday afternoon after the rotund rock genius died in New Orleans. He was 89.
With hits including “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’,” Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blue Monday,” Domino was one of rock music’s pioneers.
He is widely credited with having sung the first rock song to sell one million copies, “The Fat Man.”
Domino, who died of “natural causes” Tuesday, had 37 top 40 singles during his lengthy career.
He was one of the first musicians inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
Despite worldwide fame, he continued to live in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward throughout his life in a house that was easily accessible to passing fans and clearly visible from the street.
In a remark that may, or may not, have been humorous, the musician claimed he always lived in New Orleans where he was born because he could not find food that he liked to eat anywhere else.
His Walk of Fame star is at 6616 Hollywood Blvd.
While closely associated with New Orleans, Domino’s success can be traced in part to a Los Angeles connection.
In 1949, noted The New York Times, producer and arranger David Bartholomew “brought Lew Chudd, the owner of Imperial Records in Los Angeles, to the Hideaway [a club where Domino played]. Mr. Chudd signed Mr. Domino on the spot, with a contract, unusual for the time, that paid royalties rather than a one-time purchase of songs.”
Domino and Bartholomew immediately wrote “The Fat Man,” which the Times said was a cleaned-up version of a song about drug addiction called “Junkers Blues,” and recorded it with Bartholomew’s studio band.
“By 1951 it had sold a million copies,” the Times said.
Media reports said Domino died of “natural causes,” citing a statement from Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish Medical Examiner’s office in Louisiana.
Some of Fats Comino’s biggest hits included: