The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew: Listening Resources

Both Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew were very prolific musicians.  Below you will find key musical examples and box sets that help illustrate the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic choices that placed Domino and Bartholomew in the annals of pop music history.

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Walkin' to New Orleans (Capitol, 2002; 4 CD, 100 song box set)

This four 24-bit-remastered discs of this 100-track anthology offers a rich chronicle of Domino's New Orleans boogie-woogie-bred R&B. If there are some distinct formulas at work here (the familiar lolling rhythms--and even lyrics--of "Something's Wrong" foreshadow at least two of his most massive hits, "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That a Shame," while the melody of the brief "You Done Me Wrong" can't help but recall Lloyd Price's "Stagger Lee"), Domino has honed them to perfection, selling each song with a warm, understated voice that's a sharp contrast to his distinctively rollicking piano work. --Jerry McCulley, Amazon.com

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Dave Bartholomew, The King Sides (Collectables, 2004)

This Collectables compilation is split between trumpet player, vocalist, composer, and arranger Dave Bartholomew's '40s and '50s sides and includes all the big records. The three previously mentioned titles are here as are "Country Boy," "Sweet Home Blues," "Bad Habit," "The Golden Rule," his magnificent version of "Stormy Weather," the two-part "Lawdy Lawdy Lord," and his signature "blue" tune, "My Ding-a-Ling," made infamous by Chuck Berry 20 years after Bartholomew recorded it. There are a couple of unusual cuts here in "Gumbo Blues," which is a previously unissued master take from the "Dum Mae"/"Dave's Boogie Woogie" session, and alternate takes of his hits "Twins" and "The Golden Rule." -- Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

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The Big Beat Of Dave Bartholomew: 20 Of His Milestone New Orleans Productions 1949-1960 (Capitol, 2002)

UK compilation of classic New Orleans rhythm and blues tracks produced by Dave Bartholomew.  Tracks include "Blue Monday" (Smiley Lewis),  "Sick and Tired" (Chris Kenner), "I'm Gone" (Shirley and Lee), and "I'm Gonna be a Wheel Someday" (Bobby Mitchell).  There are twenty 24-bit digitally remastered tracks.

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Crescent City Soul (Capitol, 1996; 4 CD, 119 song box set [out of print])

This collection has hits by all of the major artists and hits and misses by most of the important minor ones as well. Although New Orleans residents usually carry the day, important records that were recorded in New Orleans by non-natives are also featured. Fats Domino, Little Richard, Irma Thomas, Lee Dorsey, Smiley Lewis, Chris Kenner, Barbara George, Ernie K-Doe, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Lloyd Price, Aaron Neville, Professor Longhair, Shirley & Lee, and Dr. John are all here, as are one-shots and regional figures like the Showmen, Earl King, Benny Spellman, Dave Bartholomew, and the Spiders. There are plenty of hits, but also plenty of fine songs that most listeners won't be aware of: the original versions of "My Ding-A-Ling," "I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday," and "One Night," for instance, which were covered for huge smashes by Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley.  --Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

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Cosimo Matassa Story (Proper Box, 2007; 4 CD box set)

Virtually every R&B record made in New Orleans between the late '40s and early '70s was engineered by Cosimo Matassa and recorded in one of his four studios. Cosimo placed New Orleans on the musical map recording hits for Little Richard, Fats Domino, Lloyd Price and many more. This is a monster of a set with 120 vital tracks, all the hits plus much more. Includes a 40 page book with session detail, rare pictures etc. Features cuts from Smiley Lewis, Dave Bartholomew, Shirley & Lee, T-Bone Walker, Lowell Fulson, Guitar Slim, Professor Longhair and many more.

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Gettin' Funky (Proper Box, 2003; 4 cd, 107 song box set)

Gettin’ Funky digs deep into the pioneers of New Orleans R&B, with a focus on piano legends Champion Jack Dupree, Professor Longhair, and Archibald, R&B pioneers Dave Bartholomew, Paul Gayten, and Smiley Lewis, and hitmakers Roy Brown and Fats Domino.

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Additional Resources


"Ain't that a Shame" will never die. It'll be here when the world comes to an end.
- Dave Bartholomew