Saturday night, May 19, was not just your run-of-the-mill, ordinary evening in the unordinary city of New Orleans. It was instead a night not soon to be forgotten for fans, both young and old, of legend Fats Domino.
The rock hall of famer, who lost his home, pianos, platinum records and pretty much everything else of material value to him during hurricane Katrina in 2005, made a grand showing at a local nightclub. As reported by the Washington Post, the 79-year-old Fats played old favorites like “Blue Monday,” “Aint That A Shame,” “Blueberry Hill” and “Walkin’ To New Orleans” to an overwhelmingly titillated crowd of all ages.
The New Orleans native was reportedly energetic as he stimulated the crowd while playing the piano. When singing “Blueberry Hill,” Fats, who’s parents actually named him Antoine, was accompanied by longtime partner, saxophonist Herbert Hardesty. The two have been jamming together since the mid-1940s.
Domino’s last performance in public was at a casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Memorial Day 2005. The Saturday night show was sponsored by the Tipitina’s Foundation, which is also working with Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, as well as others, to bang out a tribute album of Domino’s songs.
Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit foundation, dedicated to supplying New Orleans’ public schools with instruments and also assisting artists in recovering from Katrina. Around 25% of the proceeds will also go toward rebuilding Domino’s home.
It always amazes me to see how long many of these musicians keep playing, even up until the minute they die. I guess for people like him, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and B.B King playing music isn’t a job as it is their life; the least we can do is make sure they have something to come home to.
If you need any convincing of how great Domino is, check out his performance from the 1956 film, Shake, Rattle And Rock!.