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The first rock n’ roll single?

It is often claimed that the Bartholomew/Domino song “The Fat Man” was the first or one of the first rock ‘n roll records. Whatever, it was recorded on this date 66 years ago at the legendary J&M Studio. What I didn’t know is that it’s a variation on “Junker’s Blues” which in turn apparently morphed into “Junco Partner”.…

Smokey Johnson (1936-2015)

Smokey Johnson, longtime Fats Domino drummer, has died. Jon Cleary, superb N.O. pianist writes: “Smokey playing a simple 12/8 New Orleans groove, check the way he hits the back beat. I’ve played that groove with so many great New Orleans drummers but none of them could make it as mean and tough as Smokey.” Dave BartholomewdrummerFats…

Robert Plant: A Life

This is really the first biography of Plant. On balance it’s decent enough but still a pedestrian effort that doesn’t really add much more to what we already know. To Paul Rees’ credit he keeps the speculative temptation that Zep always courted to a minimum. I think that a bio by the very excellent rock…

Fats, Dave and Mac

Good to see that Fats and Dave were able to attend this showing as per my last post. Here are some lovely shots of the three maestros, Dave ever irrepressible; Fats the quiet one. The best extended research on Fats and Dave is in the excellent book Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of…

Fats, Dave and The Big Beat

Glad to hear that this documentary has come to full fruition. Below is the blurb from the film’s Kickstarter page. The early years (1949-62) of the Fats Domino / Dave Bartholomew collaboration and its roots in the culture and music of New Orleans. ….On the day in 1948 the unlikely paths of Antoine “Fats” Domino…

Cosimo Matassa (1926 – 2014)

From offBeat and Keith Spera. Mr. Matassa helped facilitate the role of New Orleans in the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. He opened his first studio, J&M Recording, in 1945 in the back of his family’s record and appliance store at the corner of North Rampart and Dumaine streets in the French Quarter. Its pedigree is…

Fats and Dave

About time Lauro opened a Kickstarter online crowd-funding page for an upcoming documentary film, “The Big Beat: Fats Domino and His Band” which, he writes, will look at the essential musical partnership between Domino and his musical other half, the producer, arranger and trumpeter Dave Bartholomew. boogie woogieDave BartholomewFats Dominonew orleansrock and roll

Fats and Dave

Here is the very excellent Keith Spera reporting on an event I’d have given my right/left (you name it) to have been able to attend. Keith by the way has written one of the most elegant, affectionate (warts and all) and informative books around featuring a chapter on Fats. Music journalism at its unpretentious best: a…

“Fats” on Treme

Here’s a couple of reports on the surprise appearance of “Fats” on Treme. So good to hear that “Fats” could be coaxed into this. I can’t wait to see it. Alex Rawls’ article in My Spilt Milk Dave Walker’s article in NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune  Fats and the irrepressible Dave’s reunion Cosimo MatassaDave BartholomewDavid SimonDominoEric…