Fats Domino’s ‘Ain’t That A Shame’: The Happiest Sad Song You’ll Ever Hear

No list of legendary singers from the 1950s would be complete without Fats Domino. The pianist, singer, and songwriter was one of the early pioneers of rock and roll music.

Fats sold over 65 million records after signing with Imperial Records in 1949 and releasing his first single, ‘The Fat Man.’ One of his biggest hits was titled ‘Ain’t That A Shame.’

The performance has been restored to 4K resolution, and the sound is as good as ever. Fats plays the piano and sings with his band right next to him. He has a saxophone group, a drummer, and a bass and guitar player.

Fats wears a gray suit jacket with a tie, and his band also wears suits. He has slick-backed hair in the black-and-white footage. Fats sings and looks into the camera and the audience, who claps along.

During a saxophone solo, there are shots of the crowd dancing and smiling. As the song ends, Fats gives a big smile to the camera. The 1955 song hit number 1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B charts and number 10 on the Hot 100.

Imperial Records decided the recording was too slow and bluesy, so they compressed Fats’ voice and sped up the record to give it mainstream appeal. This was one of the first songs ever to crossover from the R&B charts to the Hot 100.

Fats thought the title might not translate to educated listeners and wanted to change it to ‘Isn’t That a Shame,’ but the producers thought the original would sell better. The rest is history as Fats Domino became one of the most beloved singers of the 50s.

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Fats Domino\'s \'Ain\'t That A Shame\': The Happiest Sad Song You\'ll Ever Hear