Fats Domino: 12 Essential Songs
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We look back at 12 great songs by late New Orleans hitmaker Fats Domino, including "Blueberry Hill," "Ain't That a Shame" and more. 20th Century Fox/REX Shutterstock

Few artists embodied the innocent release and ecstasy of early rock & roll like Fats Domino. He was the music's first piano wizard and a huge influence on generations of musicians, from fellow Fifties icons like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard to future New Orleans soul stars like Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, to rock-era piano men like Billy Joel and Elton John. "That innocence is there in his music," Dr. John wrote in a tribute when Rolling Stone named Domino one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. "He's a good man, and people respond to that goodness." The effortless easy-rolling freedom of songs like "Whole Lotta Loving," "I'm Walkin'" and "Blueberry Hill," the ticklish intimacy of "I Want to Walk You Home" and the cool heartache of "Ain't That a Shame" still resonate more than 60 years after they were hits. Though his chart success dried up in the 1960s, Fats Domino still sits smiling and vibrant, at the center of everything wide open and fun about American pop music.