Blues News

Fats Domino: I’ve Been Around


Bear Family Records announces a massive 12 disk Fats Domino box set.  What makes this so special is that it’s the most in-depth collection for this artist. Fats Domino is a pioneering New Orleans Jazz artist whose work went beyond just performing the blues.  Furthermore, he was the first major artist to explode off the R&B charts and into the teenage consciousness during the 1950’s. The box set is coming out – November 8, 2019  

The monumental collection I’ll Be Around contains 312 tracks comprising all the Crescent City titan’s work for Imperial Records. In addition, he cut his first and greatest hits from 1948-1962. Along with the ABC-Paramount Records, his recording home from 1963-65.  At the same time, it contains a motherlode of unreleased alternate takes, undubbed and unedited masters, and newly discovered instrumental backing tracks. 

All 61 of Domino’s R&B chart hits nine of which soared to No. 1. All but five of which reached the national top 25 are heard on the set’s 12 CDs. They include the pop crossovers (37 of which entered the national top 40) that made him a household name. Among them, “Ain’t It a Shame,” “I’m in Love Again,” “Blue Monday,” and “I’m Walkin’.” His signature 1956 smash “Blueberry Hill” (No. 1 R&B, No. 2 pop), whose original studio master was badly damaged.  It’s presented in pristine form in the box, remastered from a clean original 78 copy.

What it Includes

The collection also contains a DVD including both the 60-minute broadcast version. As well as the 90-minute director’s cut of the 2016 “PBS American Masters” documentary Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll. The film includes interviews with the late Dave Bartholomew and Crescent City engineer and studio owner Cosimo Matassa. Directed by Joe Lauro and written by Lauro and Rick Coleman.

Befitting the wide, deep scope of the set and reflecting Bear Family’s longstanding commitment to quality presentation. I’ve Been Around features a full-color, hardcover, large-format book of 240 pages. It contains updated and extended notes by biographer Coleman; track-by-track commentary by producers Hank Davis and Scott Parker.  A comprehensive Domino Imperial sessionography and the most complete ABC-Paramount discography available to date; and many previously unpublished images. For more information:  

That’s it for this week, be sure to check back next week!

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Credits: Glide Magazine/

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