Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew: Reading Resources

There are several reading and listening resources related to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, not to mention the works dedicated to New Orleans music or the birth of rock and roll.  Below you will find recommended reading and brief reviews of each book.

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Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll (Rick Coleman, Da Capo Press, 2006)

In this critically acclaimed biography - the first ever of Fats Domino - music critic and historian Rick Coleman draws on exclusive access to the man himself and on a multitude of new interviews with other music legends.  He presents the definitive portrait of not just an extraordinary man and musician, but also of a unique time and place: New Orleans at the birth of rock and roll.  This tremendous resource is a "rich, full portrait of the least chronicled of rock's early giants" (New Orleans Times-Picayune).

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Up from the Cradle of Jazz: New Orleans Music Since World War II (Jason Berry, Jonathan Foose, and Tad Jones, University of Georgia Press, Athens, 2009)

From Publishers Weekly:  New Orleans has always been a city of music and divergent cultures, where aristocratic French and Spanish colonists, working-class Irish and the African slave culture combined to produce a charismatic musical tradition. The authors begin their survey after World War II and trace the impact of the musicians of New Orleans on rhythm and blues, jazz, soul and the other popular musical styles of the day. The book looks closely, too, at the tradition of musical families as exemplified by clans like the Bechets and Bigards of the early 1900s and continues with the talented Marsalis family of today. They discuss well-known artists such as Professor Longhair and Fats Domino and scores of lesser known but talented locals.

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Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans (John Broven, Pelican Publishing, Gretna, Louisiana, 1974)

In his landmark book, Walking to New Orleans, Broven compiled biographies of dozens of musicians marginalized from popular music history and brought them together in the first comprehensive history of New Orleans rhythm and blues.  It changed the face of music in the city.  Local fans began looking into the forgotten tradition of rhythm & blues and they started looking for the forgotten musicians who had created it.

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The Soul of New Orleans: A Legacy of Rhythm and Blues (Jeff Hannusch, Swallow, 2001)

A comprehensive document of the rise and fall of New Orleans rhythm and blues, this volume presents scores of colorful and important profiles as it explores the activities of the city's clubs, musicians, record companies, recording studios, and much more. It includes over 100 photographs and illustrations and a full appendix including a selected discography. A must for fans of New Orleans rhythm and blues.

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I Hear You Knockin'  (Jeff Hannusch, Swallow, 1985)

I Hear You Knockin' is the  story of New Orleans rhythm and blues by Jeff Hannusch, aka "Almost Slim." This well written and lavishly illustrated volume presents colorful and informative portraits of more than two dozen important New Orleans Rhythm and Blues figures. In most cases the subjects tell their own stories, sharing their successes and joys, as well as their failures and sorrows. Included are singers, producers, instrumentalists, DJs and record Label entrepreneurs. Some have scaled to the top of their profession and earned international reputations. Others have tasted success on a smaller scale and just play for fun and a little extra money on the weekends. Together they tell the fascinating story of the rise of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues. A must for fans of rhythm and blues and New Orleans music! Hannusch received an American Book Award in 1986 for this book, which is now in its fourth printing.--Flattownmusic.com

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The most important thing about my music is the beat.
- Fats Domino