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Fats Domino In America’s Living Rooms

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The TV variety shows of yesteryear can be fascinating snapshots of the admiration for pop stars of the day, often incongruously juxtaposed with celebrities from the world of film and TV. One of those from the rising years of rock ‘n’ roll has its 59th anniversary today for Fats Domino.

Fats PerryCrooner Perry Como, whose own, easy-going durability as an entertainer kept him at the top for many decades, was riding high as the new teenage music reared into view. Early in 1957, he was already into the ninth series of his own TV series, by this time back on NBC where he had first hosted The Chesterfield Supper Club from the end of 1948. Named after his hit radio series of the same name, the TV version was retitled after Como himself from 1950 on CBS, and after five years with that network, he moved back to NBC.

In the earlier episodes of season nine, Como’s musical guests tended to be “safe” white performers of the easy listening or pop variety. Frankie Laine and Brenda Lee shared the bill one week, Johnnie Ray and Jo Stafford another. Nat ‘King’ Cole did represent the African-American community, as did Louis Armstrong.

Then on the 2 February, 1957 edition of The Perry Como Show, actor (and later Rat Pack member) Peter Lawford was joined on the bill by Tab Hunter, the actor-singer who was about to go to No. 1 in America with his version of ‘Young Love.’ Also appearing were singer-actress Polly Bergen, highly popular Canadian vocal group the Four Lads and, representing the R&B end of the rock ‘n’ roll brigade, Fats Domino.

Blue MondayFats was climbing the American charts at the time with ‘Blue Monday,’ which he performed on the show along with ‘Blueberry Hill.’ Just before Christmas, he had played the latter song on another of the appearances which helped to break Domino’s New Orleans rhythm and blues style to white Americans, on The Ed Sullivan Show. ‘Blue Monday’ went on to become another million-seller, thanks in no small part to Fats being welcomed into living rooms across the United States by the likes of Ed Sullivan and Perry Como.

Listen to the Fats Domino compilation Greatest Hits: Walking To New Orleans on Spotify
Explore our dedicated Fats Domino Artist Page

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Richard Freudenthal

    February 10, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Fats is my favorett artist of all time.

  2. Mike Stangroom

    February 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Discovered the Fat Man when I was about 10 years old,56 years ago. Have seen him four times here in the UK and he has never disappointed, in fact his live shows were magnificent. I’d buy ANY records by Fats without even listening first. The man is New Orleans – a legend. God bless Fats.

  3. Doris Abramson

    February 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Love Fats . The best !

  4. Liz Fraley

    February 20, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Have been A fan from day one. Thanks for all the joy you have brought into my life.

  5. barbara

    January 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    my favourite artiste of all time love you fats d

  6. Betsy Helander

    February 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    My momma put me to bed every nite with Blueberry Hill playing over and over!!!!! Love the song, LOVE Fats!!!!!!!

  7. Cor Lahnstein

    April 1, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    I loved the Fat Man since i was 14 years old. And he is my favorit performer.
    I saw him many thimes in Netherlants , Germany , Belgium , U.K. and i was goin’ to New Orléans at the Herritage 2006 to see him. But he was not aible to perform! Fats is New Orléans and the people of that City must be proud of him. He ‘s a Monument. But don’t forget Dave Bartholowmew , his co-writher , arranger , producer and many years & tours the bandleader !

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