Celebrating Hurricane Katrina survivor “Fats” Domino

by Madeleine Kolb

Five years later, it’s just as painful and horrifying to watch footage of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck as it was at the time: people stranded on rooftops frantically waving for help; people forced from their homes by rising water when the levees broke; over 20,000 people—frail, elderly people, sick people, mothers with crying babies, and others—crowded into the Louisiana Superdome for days on end with no food, running water, or medical supplies. Many others were missing and presumed to have died.

One of them was the legendary rhythm and blues singer Antoine “Fats” Domino.  His many unforgettable hits include Blue Monday, Blueberry Hill, Ain’t That a Shame, and the iconic Walking to New Orleans

Fats Domino and his family lived in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, the low-lying area which was one of the hardest hit by flooding when the levees failed. With water nearly up to the roof, he was reported missing for 3 days after Hurricane Katrina struck. Fortunately, his daughter in New Jersey recognized him in a picture of people being rescued by boat and notified the press.

In 2006 as if to refute the rumors of his death, he released a CD, exurberantly named Alive and Kicking. In 2007 Fats Domino was inducted into Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And this year on February 26, he celebrated his 80th birthday. 

A few more, and I hope you love watching the incomparable Fats Domino as much as I do.

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