The Legendary Imperial Recordings,
Part 1 of 4
I know that there are many books and information out on the internet about our next subject. He truly changed my life, musically and very early. So I will take a different approach and deal with his music only, and include a picture I took of him in 1956 in Toronto.
We will take you from the late forties to the early sixties with a man who really represents the New Orleans sound and at one time “was” the New Orleans sound.
I will try to progress you through the years of Antoine “Fats” Domino and give you pertinent details regarding 51 of his most famous and requested songs. This will all reflect and include the Legendary Imperial Recordings.
1949 / Montage of the Original “The Fat Man” /
Legendary Imperial Recordings 1949 – 1955
1. The Fat Man/ 12/10/49/ Imperial 5058/ R&B # 2
2. Little Bee/ 12/10459/ Imperial 5065/
3. Goin’ Home/ 1/52/ Imperial 5180/ R&B # 1 4/26/52 Pop # 30 6/14/52
4. Swanee River Hop/ 2/53/ Imperial LP released 8/56/ Charted # 18
5. Please Don’t Leave Me (my 2nd favourite)/ 6/18/53/ Imperial 5240/ R&B # 3
6. Rose Mary (version 2)/6/1/53/ Imperial 5251/ R&B # 10
7. Where Did You Stay/ 3/14/54/ Imperial 5283/ did not chart in top 30
8. All By Myself (my absolute favourite)/ 3/15/55/ Imperial 5357/ R&B # 1
9. Ain’t That A Shame/ 4/55/ Imperial 5348/ R&B # 1 Pop # 10
10. La-La (Version 1)/ 4/55/ Imperial 5348/
11. Blue Monday/ recorded/3/55/ released 12/55/ R&B # 1 Pop # 5
12. Poor Me/ 11/55/ Imperial 5369/ R&B # 1
Domino’s first single, “The Fat Man” (1949)
This song is one of the dozens that have been consistently singled out as a candidate for the first rock & roll record. As far as Fats was concerned, he was just playing what he’d already been doing in New Orleans for years, and would continue to play and sing in pretty much the same fashion even after his music was dubbed “rock & roll.”
The record made #2 on the R&B charts, and sold a million copies. Just as important, it established a vital partnership between Fats and Imperial A&R man, Dave Bartholomew. Bartholomew, himself a trumpeter, would produce Domino’s big hits, co-writing many of them with Fats.
The Fat Man/ His first 1949 recording
He would also usually employ New Orleans session greats like Alvin Tyler on sax and Earl Palmer on drums — musicians who were vital in establishing New Orleans R&B as a distinct entity, playing on many other local recordings as well (including hits made in New Orleans by Georgia native, Little Richard).
Fats Domino released a series of hit songs with producer and co-writer Dave Bartholomew, saxophonists Herbert Hardesty and Alvin “Red Tyler and drummer Earl Palmer.. Other notable and long-standing musicians in Domino’s band were saxophonists Reggie Houston, Lee Allen and Fred Kemp, Domino’s trusted bandleader.