Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino was born February 26,
1928, in New Orleans, Louisana. Domino crossed into the pop mainstream
with "Ain't That a Shame" (1955), which hit the Top Ten,
though Pat Boone characteristically hit #1 with a milder cover of the
song that received wider radio airplay in a racially segregated era.
Domino would eventually release 37 Top 40 singles, including "Whole
Lotta Loving" and "Blue Monday. His 1956 uptempo version of
the old song, "Blueberry Hill", reached #2 in the Top 40, was
#1 on the R&B charts for 11 weeks, and was his biggest hit When
Hurricane Katrina was approaching New Orleans in August 2005, Domino
chose to stay at home with his family, due to his wife's poor health.
His house was in an area that was heavily flooded. He was thought to be
dead, with someone spray-painting a message on his home, "RIP Fats.
You will be missed." This was shown in news photos. On September 1,
Domino's agent, Al Embry, announced that he had not heard from the
musician since before the hurricane had struck. Later that day, CNN
reported that Domino was rescued by a United States Coast Guard
helicopter. His daughter, gospel singer Karen Domino White, identified
him from a photo shown on CNN. The Domino family was then taken to a
Baton Rouge shelter, after which they were picked up by JaMarcus
Russell, the starting quarterback of the Louisiana State University
football team, and Fats' granddaughter's boyfriend. He let the Dominos
stay in his apartment. The Washington Post reported that on Friday,
September 2, the Dominos had left Russell's apartment, after sleeping
three nights on the couch. "We've lost everything," Domino
said, according to the Post story. By January 2006, work to gut and
repair Domino's home and office had begun.
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