The Legendary Imperial Recordings, Part 4 of 4
Here are just a couple of facts.
1. Antoine “Fats” Domino sold in excess of 65 million records while with Imperial. Now that was quite a feat in the years of segregation, smaller population and communications just starting to flex their muscles (Radio/TV). He is still ranked Number 25 on Rolling Stones list “100 Greatest Artists of All-Time”
2. 90 percent of all the solos on Fats’s records were played by this man on his Tenor Saxophone, Herbert Hardesty:
He joined Fats for more than 45 years and still plays sax with him from time to time.
Antoine “Fats” Domino
1960 – 1962
The years of Change
1. Shu Rah/ LP 10/60 Imperial 5734/ 3/61/ Pop # 32
2. My Girl Josephine/ Imperial 5704/ 10/60/ Pop # 14 R&B # 7
2. Natural Born Lover/ B side/ 10/60/ Pop # 38 R&B 28
3. Ain’t that Just Like a Woman/ Imperial 5723/ Pop # 33 R&B # 19
4. It Keeps Rainin‘/ Imperial 5753/ 5/61/ Pop # 23 R&B # 18
5. What a Price/ Imperial 5723/ 1/61/ Pop # 22 R&B # 7
6. Fell in Love on Monday/ Imperial 5734/ 1/61/from LP rec 12/60/ / Pop # 32
7. You win Again/ LP (Let the Four Winds Blow) 6/61/Imperial 5816/ Pop # 22
8. Let the Four Winds Blow (favourite)/ Imperial 5764/ 7/61/ Pop # 15 R&B # 2
9. What a Party/ Imperial 5779/ 9/61/ Pop # 22
10. Jambalaya(on the Bayou)/ Imperial 5796/ 11/61/ Pop # 30
I had over 100 songs to choose from and I am sure that I left out some of your favourites, for that I do apologize. Do to constraints, I could not use them all, enjoy the listing and the fact that I did my very best to represent this Artist in the dignity to which he deserves. Thank you Mr. Domino for introducing us to that Great New Orleans Sound.
PS: Fats would record for seven different labels, but in my opinion the Legendary Imperial Recordings are by far the most significant.
Domino continued to have a steady series of hits for Imperial through early 1962, including “Walkin’ to New Orleans” (1960) (Pop #6), co-written by Bobby Charles, and “My Girl Josephine” (Pop #14) from the same year.
After Imperial Records was sold to outside interests in early 1963, Domino left the label: “I stuck with them until they sold out”, he claimed in 1979. In all, Domino recorded over 60 singles for the label, placing 40 songs in the top 10 on the R&B charts, and scoring 11 top 10 singles on the pop charts. Twenty-two of Domino’s Imperial singles were double-sided hits.
In the 1980s, Domino decided he would no longer leave New Orleans, having a comfortable income from royalties and a dislike for touring, and claiming he could not get any food that he liked any place else. His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and an invitation to perform at the White House failed to persuade Domino to make an exception to his travel policy.
Fats Domino was persuaded to perform out of town periodically for Dianna Chenevert, agent, founder and president of New Orleans based Omni Attractions, during the 1980s and early 1990s. Most of these engagements were in and around New Orleans, but also included a concert in Texas at West End Market Place in downtown Dallas on October 24, 1986.
Fats Domino & Dave Bartholomew – Live in Austin 1986
On October 12, 1983 USA Today reported that Domino was included in Chenevert’s “Southern Stars” promotional poster for the agency (along with historically preserving childhood photographs of other famous living musicians from New Orleans and Louisiana on it) Fats provided a photograph of his first recording session, which was the only one he had left from his childhood. Domino autographed these posters, whose recipients included USA Today’s Gannett president Al Newharth, and Peter Morton founder of the Hard Rock Cafe, Times-Picaynne columnist Betty Guillaud noted on September 30, 1987 that Domino also provided Chenevert with an autographed pair of his shoes (and signed a black grand piano lid) for the Hard Rock location in New Orleans.
Domino lived in a mansion in a predominantly working – class Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, where he was a familiar sight in his bright pink Cadillac automobile.
He makes yearly appearances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and other local events. Domino was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. In 1998, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Art.In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #25 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”
Here he is playing piano at home…