Fats Domino: Ain't That a Shame


Aint That a Shame


Fats Domino (piano, vocals)


My Blue Heaven: The Best of Fats Domino (Capitol 92808)

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Fats Domino (piano, vocals),

Samuel Lee (tenor sax), Herb Hardesty (tenor sax), Buddy Hagans (tenor sax); Walter ‘Papoose’ Nelson (guitar), Billy Diamond (bass), Cornelius “Tenoo” Coleman (drums)


Composed by Antoine Domino and Dave Bartholomew


Recorded: Hollywood, March 15, 1955


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Fats Domino had already started to attract national attention back in the late 1940s with his recording of "The Fat Man." But "The Fat Man" was a 98-pound-weakling compared to the buffed-up success of "Ain't That a Shame," which broke out of the segregated world of R&B and became a huge pop hit in 1955. The record was a million seller and remains a perennial favorite of those who demand that old time rock and roll. Pat Boone—the Vanilla Ice of the 1950s—had a successful cover version, borrowing his creativity from New Orleans in this instance, just as he would do again with "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally." But those who like plenty of rhythm in their rhythm-and-blues will go straight to the original source. You'll have a hard time finding a better groove on a 1950s rock-and-roll medium-tempo tune, and I'm convinced that the switch in and out of stop-time played a major role in making this tune a hit—Mr. Boone smartly appropriated this part of the arrangement along with the rest of the chart. But Fats' vocal soulful vocal is the main course here, and no imitator was capable of stealing that. No wonder this crossover hit had such long-lasting reverberations: for the next seven years, every one of this artist's releases would reach the charts.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

If you liked this track, also check out

Fats Domino: Swanee River Hop
Shirley & Lee: Let the Good Times Roll
Dave Bartholomew: My Ding-a-Ling

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