rock and rollin’ with fats domino at wikipedia

I AM WORKING ON A PIECE for this blog that in­spired this brief piece below. It’s ti­tled “What Was the First Rock & Roll LP Album of the ’50s?” and at one point I turned to Wikipedia for in­for­ma­tion. Specif­i­cally, I was in­ter­ested in de­ter­mining the re­lease date of Fats Domi­no’s first album, Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino. I wasn’t pre­pared for what I found, al­though I should have been.

But first, some back­ground: re­cently, I pub­lished an­other ar­ticle on my A Touch Of Gold web­site. It ad­dressed the error-ridden Wikipedia entry for ELVIS’ GOLD RECORDS, VOLUME 2, in­cluding the al­bum’s sub-title “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong.”

My ar­ticle is ti­tled “50,000,000 wikipedia con­trib­u­tors can’t be wrong,” and Frank Daniels made major con­tri­bu­tions to the re­search. 1

Af­ter­ward, he and I were chat­ting about the state of Wikipedia as a go-to source, and he made a pi­quant (don’t just read on—look it up) ob­ser­va­tion:

“It’s in­ter­esting for me to ob­serve this sort of slop­pi­ness yet again in Wikipedia, given that their ar­ti­cles on quantum me­chanics and graduate-level math­e­matics are quite ac­cu­rate. That’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween having a sci­ence pro­fessor as an ed­itor and, oh, say Elvis’ 50,000,001st fan.”

And Amen to that!

And since that ex­change, both Frank and I have found in­ci­dent after in­ci­dent where Wiki en­tries are fac­tu­ally chal­lenged. Granted that many are en­ter­taining, but only if the reader knows that they are er­rors. If not, they’re just adding more drivel and mis­in­for­ma­tion al­ready cir­cu­lating among the mil­lions of web­sites of oth­er­wise well-intentioned site owners.

And the beat goes on (lah-dee-dah-dee-dah) and now back to the Fat Man …

 

FatsDomino LP 9004 RockAndRollin 600

This is the cover to Fats Domi­no’s second album: Im­pe­rial LP-9004, which everyone refers to as ROCK AND ROLLIN’ WITH FATS DOMINO be­cause of this cover, which cer­tainly seems to in­di­cate that is the cor­rect title. Tech­ni­cally, when the title on the jacket and the record con­flict, the title on the label is usu­ally con­sid­ered the of­fi­cial title. Here the label for LP-9004 is simply FATS DOMINO—and that’s the cor­rect title of the album, re­gard­less of the cover above.

Rock and rollin’ with Fats Domino

Here is the main text in the entry “Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino” as it ap­peared on Wikipedia on July 17, 2016. The text is ex­actly as it ap­peared in the opening sec­tion and the “Re­lease his­tory” for this entry on Wikipedia.

Ex­cept I broke the text up into smaller para­graphs, and I elim­i­nated the ex­ces­sive hy­per­links so common to Wikipedia text. More im­por­tant, I also elim­i­nated the Wiki foot­note num­bers at the end of sen­tences within the text.

I then added my own foot­note num­bers so that I could ad­dress each error in this ar­ticle in a reader-friendly manner. These num­bers are in blue su­per­script so that they are easily seen and rec­og­nized. My num­bered com­men­tary fol­lows the Wiki ar­ticle:

Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino, orig­i­nally re­leased as Carry on Rockin’ [1], is the 1955 debut album by R&B pi­anist and vo­calist Fats Domino, com­piling a number of his hits and other ma­te­rial, some of which would soon be­come hits [2].

The album, which fea­tured a woodcut por­trait of the mu­si­cian, reached #17 on the Bill­board “Pop Al­bums” chart [3]. It is be­lieved to have been pro­duced by en­gi­neer Bunny Robyn due to the no­ta­tion on the cover “A Robyn Recording” [4].

 

Wikipedia got the title wrong, they got the cat­alog number wrong, and they got the year wrong. But at least they got the artist right!

 

The album was first re­leased on Im­pe­rial Records, cat­alog #9009 [5], under the title Carry on Rockin’ in No­vember 1955 [6] and reis­sued under the title Rock and Rollin’ With Fats Domino [7].

Var­ious dates are given for the re-issue [8]. The Great Rock Discog­raphy in­di­cates that Im­pe­rial 9009 was reis­sued under al­ter­nate title in Oc­tober 1956 and March 1957, but the Domino bi­og­raphy Blue Monday in­di­cates April 1956 [9].

When Domino left Im­pe­rial in 1963 to join Para­mount, Im­pe­rial re­tained the rights to this and sev­eral other of Domi­no’s no­table al­bums, reis­suing it on LP as re­cently as 1981. It has sub­se­quently been reis­sued in con­junc­tion with an­other early Domino album, Mil­lion Sellers By Fats, as Rock and Rollin’ with Fats Domino/Million Sellers By Fats [10].

That is the end of the text from the Wikipedia entry that I am using for this ar­ticle. There is a little more (song info, track listing, etc.), but it has nothing to do with this issue.

 

Fats_CarryOn

Here is the British ver­sion of ROCK AND ROLLIN’ WITH FATS DOMINO from London Records. Great photo of Fats but the title is rather awkward—unless the phrasing has meaning in Eng­land that is lost on us here in the States.

Facts are only facts when they’re factual

Here are my com­ments on the state­ments above. While this may seem like any­where from petty to overkill, it’s Wikipedia’s sole pur­pose is to transfer in­for­ma­tion. And er­ro­neous in­for­ma­tion ain’t no in­for­ma­tion at all.

1.  Carry On Rockin’ was NOT the orig­inal title of this album. Quite the op­po­site: Carry On Rockin’ was the title given by London Records for the British ver­sion of the album re­leased a few months after the US orig­inal. London han­dled man­u­fac­turing and dis­tri­b­u­tion of Im­pe­rial product in the UK and on the Con­ti­nent.

2.  Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino is a com­pi­la­tion of pre­vi­ously re­leased ma­te­rial, being com­piled of sides from hit sin­gles re­leased 1949-1956. Wiki got the “would soon be­come hits” part wrong be­cause they have an in­cor­rect re­lease date for the album (see 6 below).

3.  In the ’50s, the Bill­board LP survey was ti­tled “Pop­ular Al­bums.” Be­lieve it or not, it had only fif­teen to thirty po­si­tions! It did not ex­pand to 150 po­si­tions until 1963, when it was known as “Top LP’s.” And Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino didn’t reach #17 on the Bill­board survey until March 1957. 2

4.  The note “A Robyn Recording” did not ap­pear on the ini­tial jackets for Im­pe­rial LP-9004 (above top); it was added to later jackets (above bottom). Abraham “Bunny” Robyn owned Master Recorders studio in Los An­geles, where he often acted as en­gi­neer for the ses­sions held there—such as the ones with Fats. Domi­no’s pro­ducer was al­ways Dave Bartholomew.

 

aaa_Fats_9009

Fats_9009_lab

This is Fats Domi­no’s second album: Im­pe­rial LP-9009, which everyone refers to as just ROCK AND ROLLIN’ be­cause of the jacket. Please no­tice that the title of the album on the record’s label is simply FATS DOMINO. When the ti­tles on a jacket and a record con­flict, the title on the label is usu­ally con­sid­ered the of­fi­cial title of the album.

5.  The cat­alog number for Fats Domi­no’s first 12” LP album Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino is Im­pe­rial LP-9004. The cat­alog number for Fats Domi­no’s second 12” LP album, the sim­i­larly ti­tled Rock And Rollin’ from later in 1956, was Im­pe­rial LP-9009.

6.  Im­pe­rial in­au­gu­rated its line of 12″ long-playing al­bums in July 1956 by re­leasing sev­eral ti­tles at once. This in­cluded LP-9004, Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino.

7.  This sen­tence has four er­rors, two of re­gard the al­bum’s title, which were cov­ered in 1 and 6 above.

8.  Since Wiki has the ti­tles con­fused, they refer to the orig­inal title as the re-issue.

9.  Martin Strong’s The Great Rock Discog­raphy: Com­plete Discogra­phies Listing Every Track Recorded by More Than 1,200 Artists ap­pears to be the source of much of the “data” in this Wiki entry. Alas, it is one of the most error-ridden and con­fusing books ever pub­lished about any music genre.

Based on this Fats Domino entry and so many other Wiki ar­ti­cles on pop­ular music that I have read lately, the Strong book must be re­quired reading for Wiki con­trib­u­tors.

10.  What they meant to say is that the two LPs Rock And Rollin’ With Fats Domino (LP-9004) and Mil­lion Sellers By Fats (LP-9195) were is­sued to­gether on one com­pact disc (Col­lec­tables ‎COL-CD-2722). 3

 

Fats_Rollin_EP

Im­pe­rial broke the twelve-track LP album up into three EP al­bums of four tracks each (Im­pe­rial IMP-138, 139, and 140). They kept the same art­work and title but changed the main color for each number.

My conclusions will cause confusions

1. The cor­rect title of Fats Domi­no’s first 33long-playing album (Im­pe­rial LP-9004, July 1956) is FATS DOMINO.

2. The cor­rect title of Fats Domi­no’s second 33⅓ long-playing album (Im­pe­rial LP-9009, Sep­tember 1956) is FATS DOMINO.

3. But let’s con­tinue calling these two al­bums by their in­cor­rect ti­tles: ROCK AND ROLLIN’ WITH FATS DOMINO (9004) and ROCK AND ROLLIN’ (9009). That way we can dif­fer­en­tiate one from the other. 4

Fi­nally, as Mark Twain so fa­mously (sup­pos­edly) said, “It ain’t what you know that gets you in trouble—it’s what you know that just ain’t so.”

 

FatsDomino 1955 color 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page was taken in the mid-1950s. Fats has his trade­mark flat-top haircut but only two rings.

 


FOOTNOTES:

1   There was a follow-up ar­ticle ti­tled “50 neal umphred fans can’t be wrong.”

2   That it would take the album eight months to peak may seem weird, but aside from Elvis, rock & roll al­bums re­ally didn’t sell that many copies in the ’50s—especially those by black rhythm & blues artists.

3   Look up the word con­junc­tion, be­cause the Wiki con­trib­utor and his ed­itor didn’t.

4   “Most of the time, with the smaller com­pa­nies and the cheapo budget la­bels, the cover is cor­rect and the la­bels con­tain little in­for­ma­tion. Im­pe­rial wasn’t a cheapo, but it’s clear from the de­sign that they did not re­ally in­tend to have two al­bums named only FATS DOMINO. They just didn’t put the title on the label.” (Frank Daniels)

 

 

Subscribe
Notify of
Rate this article:
Please rate this article with your comment.
11 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

By the way, folks, I do main­tain that for the first 29 re­leases in the 9000 se­ries, Im­pe­rial did not put the ti­tles of ANY al­bums on the record label. They listed only the artist name.
The rest is a rather sur­prising (or per­haps not!) look at Wikipedia. In some mat­ters, Wikipedia is quite ac­cu­rate. But when it comes to Fats Domino albums.…you might as well read tea leaves if Wikipedia is your al­ter­na­tive.

Huh! I never no­ticed. Odd …

has anyone seen a 10 inch im­pe­rial lp?

I have fair few of his LPs in­cluding a couple of the LP’s men­tioned, age to be de­ter­mined and a com­plete set of the EP’s that were men­tioned but have re­ally never con­sid­ered them rare
Maybe I am missing some­thing

Steve, orig­inal press­ings of all the Fats 78s and 45s from 1949-1955, and the first two LPs and their ac­com­pa­nying EPs from 1956 are rare in near mint con­di­tion. But no­body cares any­more.

i looked over the list of 10 inch im­pe­rial lps and i see why i only have one of them in my col­lec­tion, the promo one. i al­ways skip over stuff like this when looking thru records. the reason i kept the promo one is it has a cut that was very pop­ular on my radio shows in col springs in the early 80s. it’s from the early 1950s and it was very dif­fi­cult to find a clean sounding copy to play on the air. nei­ther of the sta­tions i was on in col springs had a 78 speed on the turnta­bles. it’s on the 10 inch promo lp and sounds quite good. later on i was for­tu­nate to find a new con­di­tion 45 of the song. i al­ways fea­tured all the local records i could as long as they were good. [good as in de­ter­mined by me]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JupicVfIRQM

i don’t think they are as much in de­mand as they were 5 years or more ago. many lps like this we usta get good money for now sell for the price of a common used record which is about 3 bucks where i sell. most cus­tomers want thumpers, boners, and DCH.

11
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x