(1950-52 'Imperial') (72:43/30)
Fats Domino is a true legend of rock'n'roll. His uniqueness was summed up for me way back in 1973 by New Orleans studio owner Cosimo Matassa when I interviewed him for my book 'Walking To New Orleans': 'No matter what Fats does he comes through. He could be singing the National Anthem, which everybody until recently did straight, no fooling around or anything, you'd still know by the time he said two words it was him - obviously, unmistakeably and pleasurably him, Domino fits that, just opens his mouth...in fact he just hits an opening chord on his piano and you know it. I'd like to have that, I think anybody would.'The cuddly, teddy bear-like Fat Man first broke into national consciousness in the mid-50s with international hits like Ain't That A Shame, I'm In Love Again, Blue Monday, I'm Walkin' and especially Blueberry Hill. Since then his Imperial Recordings have been frequently reissued on LP and CD, but until now his early singles (A & B sides) have never been compiled in a single package in chronological order.
As a result we are able to trace Fats' crucial development from a raw young boogie woogie pianist and blues singer (yes, blues!) into an R&B star, before becoming the hit artist we all know and love. An added bonus is that with modern studio technology the crude original recordings have been cleaned up as never before.Our 30-track CD is further enhanced by the perceptive notes of Rick Coleman from New Orleans, who is in the process of finalising Fats' biography.
Rick takes us through Fats' discovery at the Hideaway Club by future producer Dave Bartholomew and Imperial label chief Lew Chudd the initial session featuring The Fat Man (which was almost rejected because of the low-fi recording quality) the early, less-than-successful, tours the gradual evolution of Fats' renowned band the disagreement with Dave Bartholomew which led to record shop owner Al Young producing a short series of earthy recordings with Domino's own band (rather that the ubiquitous Bartholomew Orchestra) the previously unrecognised session held in Nashville in 1952 by Ted Jarrett (whose work will be featured in upcoming Ace and Kent CDs) and the reconciliation with Dave Bartholomew.
The gutsy boogie'n'blues music of the early Imperial 78s and 45s is highlighted by the R&B hits The Fat Man, Every Night About This Time and Goin' Home we have also included two stellar bonus tracks, The Fat Man's Hop and Hey! Fat Man which were unreleased on singles at the time. This release follows in the footsteps of two favourite long-deleted LPs Rare Dominos (Liberty) and Boogie Woogie Baby (Ace) - it is a vivid snapshot of rock'n'roll history in the making.