Fats Domino, who sadly passed away last October, would have celebrated his 90th birthday this week.
Antoine Dominique Domino Jr, as he was born, was the youngest of eight children, incidentally, the same number of children he fathered, all of which had an initial beginning with A, was regarded as the original rock ‘n’ roller and his 1949 song The Fat Man, is often cited at the first million-selling rock ‘n’ roll record.
He loved is hometown of New Orleans and remained there all his life despite being caught up in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and chose to stay due to his wife’s poor health. It was rumoured at the time that he’s died and someone even sprayed the legacy ‘RIP Fats you’ll be missed’ on his house. His house was badly damaged and the family briefly moved to the nearby town of Harvey whilst his house was rebuilt. He was married to Rosemary for 61 years until her death in 2008.
Between 1956 and 1963 he notched up 20 UK hits but only managed one top 10 hit which was Blueberry hill, a song first recorded by the Sammy Kaye Orchestra in 1940, which made number seven.
Let’s enjoy a live version from the Ed Sullivan show in America.
In 1978, at the tail end of punk, the Belgian-born singer Roger Jouret bounced into the UK chart with Ca Plane Pour Moi. He went by the name Plastic Bertrand and is 60 this week.
The song, which loosely translates as This Life’s for Me, was co-written by Lou Deprijk who at the time claimed he was also the singer on the track. Jouret had a signed contract but apparently couldn’t make it to the studio on the day of recording, so Deprijk performed the vocals. Deprijk took Jouret to a court in Brussels even though he had very little evidence to prove his point but the judge wasn’t sympathetic and fined him claiming his case was “groundless and vexatious.” However, in 2010 when Jouret was 62, he made a claimed in an interview with Belgian newspaper Le Soir, saying Lou Deprijk did actually provide the vocals, “I don’t mind saying it wasn’t my voice, I wanted to sing but he wouldn’t let me into the studio.” It also transpired that not only did he not sing on that track, but he didn’t sing on any track on any of the first four albums.
It was one of the few all foreign language songs to make the UK chart, but there was an English language version released by Elton Morello called Jet Boy Jet Girl but it failed to make any impact.
His follow up single was a cover of The Small Faces’ Sha-La-La-La-La-Lee and stalled at number 39.
All went quiet but in 1987 he recorded the song Amour Amour in which he represented Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest but only scored four points and ended up in penultimate place just beating Turkey who scored nil points.
He had continued to record and his last album, Dandy Bandit was released in 2009. He is also a keen scrabble fan and regularly travels the world playing in international contests.
Anyway, let’s enjoy the big hit regardless of who is singing!
This week Jill Bryson from Strawberry Switchblade celebrates her birthday.
She was one half of the Glaswegian duo and had achieved a BA honours degree in mixed media as The Glasgow School of Art. They first came to prominence when they recorded a session for John Peel in 1982 and then were supported by David ‘Kid’ Jensen.
Their debut hit, Since Yesterday, came in November 1985 with the memorable fanfare intro which was ‘borrowed’ from the third movement of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5. They followed it up with Let Her Go and a cover of Dolly Parton’s Jolene which stalled at number 53.
They split at the end of 1985 and Jill retired from the music scene, but the other member, Rose McDowall, continued and still performs with bands in her native Glasgow. But in 2013 Jill returned to the scene and formed a new band called the Shapists which includes her daughter Jessie Frost.
Alice Cooper – the man, not the whole band, is 70 this week.
Very few of Alice’s song get played on the radio apart of School’s Out, Poison and, occasionally, Elected yet he had 19 UK hit singles. He does an excellent weekday evening show on Planet Rock and still goes out on tour.
In my mind, one of his finest songs was from Christmas 1978 and was co-written by Elton’s John’s lifelong collaborator, Bernie Taupin and is called How You Gonna See Me Now. It only reached number 61 in the UK chart but did a lot better in America where it made number 12.
Just through you might like to hear it, admittedly, the live here is not as good as the studio single version.