Thursday, October 26, 2017

R.I.P. Fats

Yesterday we lost one of the great rock 'n roll pioneers, Fats Domino. He was part of the early evolution of R&B and jazz into rock 'n roll, and always put his upbeat New Orleans stamp on his music. Listening to his songs is like hearing a New Orleans jazz parade go by. The songs seem happy even when they're sad, and their boogie woogie rhythm pulls at you to get up and join the second line, even when you're listening at home by yourself.

In true New Orleans style, residents of Fats' home city have already begun to commemorate his passing with parties and musical performances of his work. Today we're going to do the same with a traditional song that Fats Domino often used as a grand finale in his shows, "When the Saints Go Marching In." In the true spirit of the song, his horn players would sometimes leave the stage to parade through the audience while playing it. 

And lest you think "When the Saints Go Marching In" isn't a Halloween-appropriate song, if you think about the actual meaning of Halloween, I'd say it's more appropriate than almost any other. Halloween originated as a celebration of the dearly departed, also known as the eve of All Saints Day. In addition to getting dressed up, eating candy, and watching horror movies, it's nice to remember the true reason for the season once in a while. Wherever Fats is marching now, he's surely leading the parade with great style and bootie-shaking rhythm. I know I'd like to be in that number one day.

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