Cleveland. Oh– The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will honor Antoine “Fats” Domino and Dave Bartholomew, one of the most important partnerships in the history of rock and roll music, during the 15th annual American Music Masters® series in November. This marks the first time that two individuals are being honored for the Museum’s signature series.
“I am deeply appreciative and grateful to receive this prestigious honor,” said Fats Domino. “It is humbling to be acknowledged among such an elite group of artists.” His family added, “A sincere thank you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this outstanding recognition.”
“It’s a great feeling and honor to be recognized at this point in my life,” said Dave Bartholomew. “I look at it this way, better sooner than later… at the age of 89, almost 90, I look back at my career and I think about the people before us and the people that followed in our footsteps. I think we had a helluva ride and I thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for recognizing our catalog and our place in music history.”
Walking to New Orleans: the Music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew will begin Monday, November 8 and will feature lectures, interviews, films and other educational programs throughout the week, culminating on Saturday, November 13 with a conference at Case Western Reserve University and a tribute concert at the Palace Theater in PlayhouseSquare. Tribute concert artists include American Music Masters honoree Dave Bartholomew, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Lloyd Price, Dr. John and The Lower 9-11, Irma Thomas, The Rebirth Brass Band and Robert Parker. Additional guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew are forever connected as the musical duo that brought the sound of New Orleans to the world. The two ignited the rock and roll revolution with their unique music. Their partnership combined Domino’s powerful piano rhythms, creole-inflected vocals, and engaging performance style with Bartholomew’s skill at arranging and producing. With Bartholomew producing, Domino recorded “The Fat Man” in December of 1949, a record that many consider to be the first rock and roll record. “The Fat Man” began a chart run that lasted until 1963; in that period, he made Billboard’s pop chart 77 times and its R&B chart 61 times. Domino and Bartholomew wrote more than fifty songs together, recorded by a band featuring the best players in New Orleans, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Earl Palmer on drums and Herb Hardesty on saxophone. Domino sold more records (65 million) than any 1950s rock-and-roller except Elvis Presley. His hits include “Blue Monday,” “I’m Walkin,” “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” and “Walking to New Orleans.” Bartholomew produced and arranged many other New Orleans artists, including Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Roy Brown, and Shirley & Lee.
“It’s fitting that as we celebrate the Museum’s 15th anniversary and 15 years of our American Music Masters series, we honor two of rock and roll’s pioneers,” said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “The records they produced together are some of rock and roll’s greatest and their unique New Orleans sound continues to influence countless musicians around the world.”
“The music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew is some of the most exciting and driving music ever recorded—a testament to the rich musical traditions of New Orleans,” said Dr. Lauren Onkey, vice president of Education and Public Programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “They played a formative role in the birth of rock and roll and we’re thrilled to tell their story.”
In conjunction with the American Music Masters program, the Museum will open a small exhibit in September featuring Bartholomew’s trumpet, some handwritten musical scores to such songs as “Blueberry Hill” and “Walking to New Orleans” and one of Domino’s shirts. In addition, Rock Hall educators will visit New Orleans in September to participate in the Ponderosa Stomp music conference. The Ponderosa Stomp is an American roots music festival dedicated to recognizing the architects of rock-n-roll, blues, jazz, country, swamp pop, and soul. Founded in New Orleans and produced by the non-profit Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau, a diverse group of music fanatics who have presented over 50 concerts with over 200 musical legends, the Stomp always succeeds in exposing rare musical icons to their adoring fans and to new audiences. Through its vital collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Louisiana State Museum, the Stomp Conference presents and records the stories of some of American music’s most treasured architects. Footage of conference interviews is archived at both institutions, capturing a significant repository of cultural history in keeping with the Foundation’s overall mission. For more information, visit http://www.ponderosastomp.com.
Tribute concert tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday, September 15 at the PlayhouseSquare box office, or by calling (216) 241-6000 or by visiting http://www.rockhall.com. Tickets are $30, $40 and $50. Rock Hall members can purchase tickets in advance beginning on Monday, September 13. A limited number of Rock Hall VIP event packages starting at $250 are available by calling (216) 515-1999.
For more information on the 15th annual American Music Master’s Series Walking to New Orleans: the Music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew including videos, interactive timelines and song and reading lists, visit http://rockhall.com/event/fats-and-dave.
About Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Fats Domino
With his easy-rolling boogie-woogie piano and smooth rhythm & blues vocals, Antoine “Fats” Domino put a New Orleans-style spin on what came to be known as rock and roll. A pianist, singer, and songwriter who was born in the Crescent City in 1928, Domino sold more records (65 million) than any 50s-era rocker except Elvis Presley. Between 1950 and 1963, he cracked the pop Top Forty thirty-seven times and the R&B singles chart sixty-one times. Domino’s biggest songs are as winning as his broad smile. They include “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday” and “Walking to New Orleans.” Domino was born into a musical family and, like such New Orleans piano greats as Professor Longhair and Amos Milburn, began performing for small change in local honky-tonks while working odd jobs to make ends meet. By 1949, Domino had become a fixture at the Hideaway Club. That same year he met Dave Bartholomew, who became his longtime producer, bandleader and collaborator. It proved to be a fortuitous partnership that yielded a bounty of durable, straight-ahead New Orleans rhythm & blues records. While less of an outgoing personality than some of his extroverted rock and roll contemporaries, Domino exhibited staying power based on the solid musicality of his recordings and live performances. In short, he all but dominated the Fifties.
For more information on Fats Domino visit http://rockhall.com/inductees/fats-domino/
About Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Bartholomew
Dave Bartholomew proved himself to be a man of many talents: bandleader, trumpet player, songwriter, producer, arranger, talent scout, businessman, and more. He was also a recording artist, scoring one national R&B hit “Country Boy,” in 1950. However, it was in his nonperforming roles that Bartholomew had the greatest impact on popular music. One of the key architects of the New Orleans sound, Bartholomew served as a major behind-the-scenes figure in the transition from jump blues and big-band swing to rhythm & blues and rock and roll in the postwar era.
Bartholomew brought Domino to Imperial Records in 1949 and collaborated with him as a songwriter, producer and arranger until 1963 (except for a year-long business-related hiatus in 1951). The records they made together introduced the big beat of New Orleans to the world. While Bartholomew’s work with Domino dominates his resume, their charmed association is only part of the story. The list of acts that Bartholomew worked with over the decades is a who’s-who of New Orleans rhythm & blues, including Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Shirley & Lee, Earl King, Roy Brown, Huey “Piano” Smith, Chris Kenner, Robert Parker, Frankie Ford, James Booker, Jewel King, Bobby Mitchell, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, Pee Wee Crayton and Tommy Ridgley. Beyond his work with Domino, two of the biggest records in which he played a major role were Smiley Lewis’s “I Hear You Knockin’” (written by Bartholomew) and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (with Domino on piano), which was the top R&B hit of 1952.
For more on Dave Bartholomew visit http://rockhall.com/inductees/dave-bartholomew/
About the American Music Masters® series
Each year, the American Music Masters® series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference at Case Western Reserve University and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.
The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2004, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performed onstage together for the first time to honor Lead Belly. This year the pair was awarded the highest honors of Album of the Year for Raising Sand and Record of the Year for “Please Read the Letter” at the 51st annual Grammy awards. Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” At the first American Music Masters tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. Two years ago, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash. In 2009, Lucinda Williams penned an original song to honor Janis Joplin.
About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.
The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays (and Saturdays through Labor Day), the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), children under 8 and Museum Members are always free, for information or to join the membership program call 216. 515.8425. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK (7625) or visit http://www.rockhall.com. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.