Cover image for Blue Monday : Fats Domino and the lost dawn of rock 'n' roll
Title:
Blue Monday : Fats Domino and the lost dawn of rock 'n' roll
ISBN:
9780306814914
Edition:
1st Da Capo Press ed.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2006.
Physical Description:
xix, 364 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Contents:
"A different drummer" -- "Swanee river boogie" -- "Hideaway blues" -- "The fat man" -- "Goin' home tomorrow" -- "Going to the river" -- "Ain't that a shame" -- "My blue heaven" -- "Blue Monday" -- "I'm walkin'" -- "The big beat" -- "Be my guest" -- "Waling to New Orleans" -- "Let the four winds blow" -- "Red sails in the sunset" -- "One for the highway" -- "New Orleans ain't the same" -- "Whiskey heaven" -- "Love you 'til the day I die".
Personal Subject:
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Summary

Summary

Rock 'n' roll defined the last half of the twentieth century, and while many think of Elvis Presley as the genre's driving force, the truth is that Fats Domino, whose records have sold more than 100 million copies, was the first to put it on the map with such hits as Ain't That a Shame" and "Blueberry Hill." In Blue Monday , acclaimed R&B scholar Rick Coleman draws on a multitude of new interviews with Fats Domino and many other early musical legends (among them Lloyd Price, the Clovers, Charles Brown, and members of Buddy Holly's group, the Crickets) to create a definitive biography of not just an extraordinary man but also a unique time and place: New Orleans at the birth of rock 'n' roll. Coleman's groundbreaking research makes for an immense cultural biography, the first to thoroughly explore the black roots of rock 'n' roll and its impact on civil rights inAmerica. A true music lovers' biography, Blue Monday , includes new revelations about the politics behind the music labels of the 1930s and 1940s, and provides a searing indictment of the great white myths of rock 'n' roll. Coleman also brings the African-American culture of New Orleans to life, and his narrative is passionate, compassionate, and authoritative. Blue Monday is the first biography to convey the full scope of Fats Domino's impact on the popular music of the twentieth century. "


Author Notes

Rick Coleman 's work has appeared in Offbeat , Goldmine , Billboard , and Rolling Stone , and in liner notes for the likes of Fats Domino and Little Richard. He lives outside New Orleans.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

"When people get started dancing and having a good time, they don't care what color you are," reflected Herbert Hardesty, one of Antoine "Fats" Domino's band members, on the ability of Domino's music to break through the color barrier in postwar America. It is a recurring theme in Coleman's biography, as are, not surprisingly, segregation and mainstream society's reception to rock 'n' roll, particularly songs by African Americans. Based on interviews and years of research, Coleman's book is well-written and full of lively details about life on the road, recording sessions and how things worked in Domino's inner circle. After making quick work of Domino's grandparents and childhood, Coleman begins a chronological journey through Domino's life, peppering his narrative with important events in music and the civil rights movement. Although Coleman touches lightly on some of Domino's irresponsible behavior-his drinking, womanizing and ambivalence to curtain times set the mold by which later rock stars would be cast-the book borders on hagiography. Also, Coleman's suggestions that the earliest African-American performers of rock 'n' roll are largely forgotten and that there still persists a myth that it all began with Elvis are outmoded at best. However, Coleman's book succeeds as a warm tribute to an American music icon. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.


Booklist Review

Coleman launches the first book-length biography of a New Orleans legend by contending that Fats Domino's 1949 thunderous rocker, The Fat Man, has a more legitimate claim than Elvis Presley's That's All Right to being the first rock 'n' roll song. He argues that Domino's seminal role in rock history is underappreciated, and it's genuinely easy to agree with him. Coleman intertwines Domino's biography and the story of an American society changing in the 1940s and 1950s so that race and pop music often merged. Domino became a reliable hit maker on the mainstream charts and a smiling TV presence, which was then still odd for an African American. Fats' indomitable spirit pervades the book, even in discussions of his gambling problems, inspiriting the story of an excellent musician who provided a link between such older Crescent City R&B giants as Professor Longhair and young rockers like Ernie K-Doe. Fats Domino's story is central to rock history, making this a must for the pop music shelves. --Mike Tribby Copyright 2006 Booklist


Choice Review

The dramatic rescue of legendary New Orleans musician Antoine "Fats" Domino made world headlines in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Domino probably disliked the attention, for he is shy and seldom grants interviews. Thus, although his triplet-driven piano style and distinctive singing were seminal in the evolution of rock 'n' roll, documentation of his contribution is scarce. Music critic and fan Rick Coleman worked for 20 years to change that. Carefully researching Domino's life and milieu, he has written the first-ever Domino biography. Remarkably, he won Domino's cooperation early on and interviewed him many times. With dogged persistence, he obtained many other hard-to-get interviews that greatly enriched his work. Coleman found that Domino profoundly influenced many later artists, which is no surprise. But he also discovered that Domino's tremendous appeal to black and white fans alike brought diverse audiences together as never before. In his unique way, Domino advanced the cause of racial harmony. Both scholarly and fascinating, this book is a much-needed addition to the literature on the history of rock music and the era that gave it birth. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All readers; all levels. D. Arnold University of North Texas


Kirkus Review

One of rock-'n'-roll's founding fathers gets full and loving treatment in this biography from music journalist Coleman. In the 1950s and '60s, Antoine "Fats" Domino helped usher in rock-'n'-roll with galvanizing numbers like "Ain't that a Shame," "Blueberry Hill," "Going Home" and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." Along with such contemporaries as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry (the author also credits the influence of Joe Turner, Roy Brown and Louis Jordan), Domino brought the big beat to recognition, adding the distinctively swinging sound of his native New Orleans. Take that beat, touch it with "the heartache of the blues and the hope of gospel," infuse it with lyrics that celebrate a passion for life, and you've got a sound that proved to be "ground zero for integration," writes Coleman. He fully explores rock's African-American roots, particularly rhythm and blues, call and response, piano triplets and the offbeats that Domino loved. Well before the British Invasion reintroduced African-American music to white American audiences, Domino had been the harbinger: he crashed a host of mainstream venues (Steve Allen, Ed Sullivan and Dick Clark, for starters) and played everywhere from the Apollo to all-white clubs. He was proud that his subversive, sensual music caused riots. Coleman covers all the gigs, all the dazzling band members and all their various travails with booze, egos, drugs and gambling. Domino and his cohorts were epic figures, but they were human, enthusiastic participants in the pleasures their music celebrated. The biography ends on a lovely last, lingering note: Domino survived Katrina and the destruction of his beloved Ninth Ward; he now lives across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, quietly with family and piano. Fats perches with rightful ease atop his pedestal. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Coleman, whose work has appeared in Billboard, Rolling Stone, and Goldmine, has crafted the first comprehensive biography of Fats Domino, drawing on new interviews with the pianist himself. From his childhood in New Orleans through the early days of rock'n'roll, when he endured travel difficulties in the segregated South and frequent riots at his concerts, Fats remained a shy but demanding performer and personality. A homesick father who seemed to cherish his family, Fats was also a hard-drinking womanizer, and Coleman tells his story with compassion and honesty up to Fats's survival of Hurricane Katrina in his Ninth Ward home. His argument that rock'n'roll sprung from Fats and the New Orleans sound is hard to dispute, as Fats was playing long before others now credited with starting the revolution. Despite the occasional slips into fandom, this is an essential purchase for any library collecting the history of rock'n'roll. Highly recommended.-Todd Spires, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.