Fats Domino: 12 Essential Songs

From "The Fat Man" to "Blueberry Hill" and beyond, we look back at the late New Orleans hitmaker's finest

"The Fat Man" (1950)

This rollicking two minutes and 37 seconds exploded out of New Orleans as a mix of Delta blues melody and boogie-woogie piano, of sexual energy and free-floating flights of jazz-touched vocal fancy, of Domino's hard-pounding piano rhythm and a young Earl Palmer's steady backbeat – in essence, one of the first rock & roll records in existence. As Langdon Winner writes in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, this tune, recorded in 1949, is a "poorly disguised version of the old barrelhouse standard 'Junker's Blues,'" but Domino imbues it with quick gait and lascivious lyrics that turn the lament about being chained to drugs into a beaming, libidinal boast that turns Domino into the original Overweight Lover on his first 10-inch single.