Monday, 21 September 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week No.71 - Fats Domino - Be My Guest / I've Been Around

Fats Domino - Be My Guest / I've Been Around
Imperial 5629

When Fats cut this double sider, 50 years ago this week on September 26, 1959, rock 'n' roll was becoming a bigger feature of the courts than the charts. Alan Freed and Dick "squeaky-clean" Clark were in the centre of the Payola scandal, with one destined for the scrap heap and one who was to be welcomed back into the fray, reputation untarnished. Musically, Fats appealed to both deejays, with Freed likely to go ballistic over the frantic boogie of The Fat Man, while Dick by name, dick by nature would come over all flushed to Blueberry Hill. This single, released in October '59 would have found a common ground between the two. Cut at the Cosimo Recording Studio in New Orleans, the usual New Orleans massive provide the backing, including Roy Montrell on guitar, Buddy Hagans and Clarence Ford on tenor and baritone sax and Cornelius Coleman laying down the backbeat. As usual it was done under the watchful eye of uncle Dave Bartholomew.

Fats had made a career of engaging rock ‘n’ roll, but he never bettered Be My Guest for congeniality. Written for the The single was to be Fats last one of the 50’s, a decade that had seen him sell more rock records than anybody except Elvis Presley. You can just see his twinkling eyes sparkle as he joyously gives us the “my, my, oh, my”. The horns peck out the “Ba da be dap dap de de de, dap dap dap” section throughout and the song is impossible to get out of your head. I’ve Been Around is a slower number, with a bluesy feel, and some beautiful piano from our Fat friend. “Woh woh woh who, Woh woh woh woh”. Oh Fats, we love you. I don’t think there will ever be another artist who could capture the hearts and ears of a generation in the way Antoine Domino did.

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