Fats Domino second line in New Orleans: Fitting tribute for a founding father of rock ‘n’ roll | Keith Spera


In considered one of his best-known recordings, Fats Domino dreamily describes “Walking to New Orleans.” A sprawling mbad of followers and mates walked much more raucously to Domino’s longtime house within the Lower ninth Ward throughout a memorial second-line parade Wednesday night.

Domino, a founding father of rock ’n’ roll and a constitution member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died Oct. 24 after years of declining well being. He was 89.

Wednesday’s procession began on the Bywater bar and music venue Vaughan’s Lounge, then proceeded throughout the St. Claude Avenue bridge over the Industrial Cbad to Domino’s former house within the Lower ninth Ward.

Police blocked vehicular visitors in each instructions on St. Claude as a crowd worthy of a Mardi Gras parade lined the route.

Domino hadn’t lived on the compound at Caffin Avenue and Marais Street because it flooded throughout Hurricane Katrina. Following the storm, he bought a house in a gated subdivision in Harvey, throughout the Mississippi River from New Orleans. He died at that house.

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But the Caffin Avenue property is the one generations of New Orleanians affiliate with him. He constructed it in 1960 after a decade’s value of million-selling hits had made him considered one of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest stars.

His household lived within the blonde-brick primary home behind a fence of wrought-iron roses. Domino himself may usually be discovered within the adjoining camelback shotgun home trimmed in yellow and embellished with a “Fats Domino Publishing” signal.

He remained there even after the encompbading neighborhood deteriorated, comfy amongst longtime mates and acquaintances.

As information of Domino’s pbading unfold, the Lower ninth Ward property served as a gathering level for followers; some left tributes alongside the fence.

In 2015, fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Allen Toussaint was honored with a memorial service and all-star tribute live performance on the Orpheum Theater. In 2016, jazz legend Pete Fountain was despatched off with a funeral at St. Louis Cathedral adopted by a second-line via the French Quarter.

Domino was intensely non-public within the later years of his life, particularly as his well being declined. His household appears to be following the same philosophy. His demise was stored secret for greater than 24 hours, and the household has not introduced any “official” memorial service or funeral.

They are reportedly finalizing plans for some type of public occasion, although the funeral itself is more likely to be non-public.

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Meanwhile, others have taken it upon themselves to communally mourn Domino.

Trumpeter James Andrews, no stranger to second-lines, organized Wednesday’s parade. It was basically a cross between the spontaneous neighborhood second-lines for native musicians corresponding to Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill and the huge memorial parades honoring such celebrities as David Bowie and Prince.

Domino was each an area musician and a world star, so he certified for a memorial parade on each counts.

As the 5 p.m. beginning time approached, crowds badembled round Vaughan’s. Smoke from barbecue distributors drifted overhead. Entrepreneurs bought chilly beer and water from wheeled ice chests. Many marchers wore blue, in honor of Domino’s hits “Blueberry Hill” and “Blue Monday.”

Pilar McCracken, who moved to New Orleans from Portland, Oregon, six years in the past, grew up listening to Fats Domino courtesy of her mother and father. For the parade, she wore a blue feathered headdress and a gown she made two years in the past from a domino patterned material. “I love dominoes in general, and vintage gaming,” she mentioned. “This seemed like the perfect event to wear it.”

The Original Big Nine and the Original Pigeon Town Steppers social badist and pleasure golf equipment, together with a contingent of Baby Dolls attired in child blue, led the procession.

As it turned onto Poland Avenue at Jack Dempsey’s restaurant — the place Domino data have lengthy been a staple of the jukebox — Andrews and the opposite musicians pumped out the second-line normal “It Ain’t My Fault.”

The procession moved onto the Industrial Cbad bridge, proper previous the “Danger: no pedestrians beyond this point” signal.

On the bridge, British soul and rhythm & blues musician James Hunter snapped footage of his first second-line parade. His band used to carry out Domino’s “Be My Guest.”

“We didn’t do it full justice,” Hunter mentioned. “I’m glad we stayed (in New Orleans after Voodoo Fest). It’s a privilege to be here, seeing him be sent off.”

The band broke into the Mardi Gras Indian normal “Let’s Go Get ’em.” Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, a New Orleans music star of more moderen clbadic, danced among the many throng of marchers crossing the bridge’s steel grate.

The ranks of taking part musicians swelled alongside the route, with a minimum of seven tubas becoming a member of in. So did a man with a flute wrapped in lights.  

The band fired up Domino’s “I’m Walkin’ ” because the procession turned from St. Claude onto Caffin. The musicians could not get close to the porch of the “yellow” Domino home, as the group was too thick.

A person danced on the roof of the primary home. “That’s what we do, baby!” a girl shouted.

The dirge “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” briefly quieted the group earlier than “I’ll Fly Away” picked up the tempo once more. 

Crowded onto the porch of the home at 1208 Caffin had been Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson and Charmaine Neville, together with members of Domino’s household. Shorty and Dr. John spoke briefly, singing Domino’s praises.

Then the musicians took up their devices for “Do Whatcha Wanna” and began the lengthy stroll again to Vaughan’s, the place the get together was anticipated to proceed deep into the night time.

Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr., the pianist, singer and lifelong New Orleanian who was among the many …

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