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American Music Masters Moments: Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew

Thursday, October 27: 11 a.m.
Dave Bartholomew dancing during a 2010 American Music Masters event

American Music Masters Moments: Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew is the second installment in a series that shares stories from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's American Music Masters® events through the years. The first post in the series remembered Les Paul. Beginning in 1996 with a tribute to Woody Guthrie, the American Music Masters series has honored artists who've been instrumental in the development of rock and roll with a range of events celebrating their careers. Each AMM brings together musicians from around the world, setting the stage for special, once-in-a-lifetime moments. These are those stories.

For me, the best part of American Music Masters is hearing first-hand stories from the musicians who worked with the honoree. They tell fascinating stories about recording sessions, concerts and late-night card games. When we honored Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew last year, we were able to bring the surviving members of their original band to town: Billy Diamond (bass), Ernest McLean (guitar), and Herb Hardesty (saxophone). It had been years since they all were together, and listening to them sitting around, reminiscing with Dave Bartholomew and Cosimo Matassa, who recorded them all at J&M Studies in New Orleans ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Event, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Now this is the way to start a new year!

Thursday, January 6: 3:24 p.m.
Fats Domino with his 2010 American Music Masters Award.

My favorite Christmas present arrived by email: a photo of a smiling Antoine “Fats” Domino in his home in Louisiana, holding his 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American Music Masters Award. Domino’s daughter sent it to us in December. We wish Fats could have made it to Cleveland in November, but we all stayed in touch over the week with photos and streaming video and text messages, so it felt like Fats and his family were close by. This year’s program honoring Fats and Dave Bartholomew was a great success—it brought together all the Museum’s resources: exhibits, classes for students and adults, distance learning classes to New Orleans, interviews, a conference, and a course the great tribute concert—topped off with the Rebirth Brass Band playing in the lobby of the Palace Theater. We just couldn’t say good night too soon! You can see photos from the week and some videos from the conference here.

The New Orleans music magazine Off Beat will be honoring Dave Bartholomew with a Lifetime Achievement Award later this month, and they just published a great story on Dave and American Music Masters, written by Domino’s biographer ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Event, Hall of Fame, American Music Masters, Education, Exclusive Interviews

Teachers are inspired to make change happen in the classroom during American Music Masters week

Thursday, November 18: 11:37 a.m.
Roots of Music: After-School Music Education in Post-Katrina New Orleans class at the Rock Hall

As I’ve mentioned before, this year’s 15th annual American Music Masters series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew has been a homecoming of sorts for me – taking me back to my former hometown of New Orleans.  Last week’s Teachers Rock workshop, featuring Allison Reinhardt and Lawrence Rawlins of the acclaimed Roots of Music program, paid tribute to the musical legacy of both our AMM honorees as well as to the musical heritage of the city of New Orleans, by drawing attention to a program that works tirelessly to keep these musical traditions alive, with students who, in a very real way, are fighting themselves to survive.

As a fourth and fifth grade special education teacher for what is now known as the Recovery School District in New Orleans, I witnessed the struggles of the city’s schoolchildren first-hand.  Years of educational neglect coupled with the crippling devastation of Hurricane Katrina left its mark in every imaginable way.  The children of New Orleans deserve better.

Unfortunately, as we know all too well, when schools are struggling – financially, academically, or in this case, both – music education is one of the first things to go.  In a city like New ...


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Rock Hall partners with HBO's Treme show for American Music Masters week

Thursday, November 4: 9:41 a.m.
Actor Wendell Pierce will be the emcee at next week's American Music Masters tribute concert.

HBO's Treme debuted in April 2010, as I was starting to shape the Rock Hall's American Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. As a fan of New Orleans music and David Simon's work on The Wire, I looked forward to the show but was skeptical that it could represent the music accurately.  I was blown away by how Simon made music part of the show's very narrative. Simon recruited some of the most important musicians in the city to play themselves, like Uncle Lionel Batiste of the Treme Brass Band, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, and one of our AMM honorees, Dave Bartholomew.  I was so impressed with what Simon created that I wanted it to be part of our project-- a contemporary, compelling depiction of the city post-Katrina, and as good an argument as there is for the power and longevity of New Orleans music.

Wendell Pierce, who stars in Treme as trumpet player Antoine Batiste, will be the emcee for our tribute concert on November 13th at the Palace Theatre. Wendell, a New Orleans native and current resident, has been a devoted activist in the rebuilding of the city since ...


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An amazing coincidence during a Rock Hall distance learning class

Tuesday, November 2: 9:29 a.m.
Slide taken from the class presentation.

One of my favorite New Orleans words is "lagniappe." Pronounced "lan-yap," it means something extra, a bonus. It can also be defined as an unexpected gift.

For me, this year’s American Music Masters series honoring Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew has been nothing but lagniappe. Having moved to Cleveland from New Orleans about a year and a half ago, I’m beyond excited to celebrate the music and spirit of my former hometown, and to pay homage to one of the greatest partnerships in rock and roll history. The line-up for the tribute concert on November 13th alone is phenomenal, not to mention the week’s worth of events that precede it. This is not to be missed – believe me.

The real gift to me, however, came last week when I was able to connect with a seventh-grade class at the Intercultural Charter School of New Orleans East, with an On the Road distance-learning program on Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew, and New Orleans rock and roll. Working with teachers at the school and with KID smART, a local arts integration education initiative, we were able to present a special interactive video-conferencing class just to them, and just for them ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education, Event

Dave Bartholomew and the Ponderosa Stomp

Monday, September 20: 5:03 p.m.

It’s Stomp time! This week we’re headed down to New Orleans to attend the 9th Annual Ponderosa Stomp Festival. The musical lineup is fantastic, as ever. We’re also helping out with the Stomp Music History Conference, a series of live interviews and first-person discussions with the stars of the show, as well as DJs, record men, field recorders and others who shaped musical history. Dr. Ike, the mastermind of the Stomp, has been a key advisor to us here in putting together this year’s American Music Masters tribute to Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. He will interview Dave Bartholomew at the Stomp conference on Saturday, and we’ll stream it live here at rockhall.com. I asked Dr. Ike to reflect a little bit on Dave’s significance to rock and roll and on working with him at the Stomp, and he graciously agreed. 

Dave Bartholomew and The Ponderosa Stomp
by Guest Writer Dr. Ike

When I originally conceived of the Ponderosa Stomp, one person who’s involvement I felt essential was Dave Bartholomew. Dave is the ultimate unsung hero. His arrangement and production on Fats Domino’s “The Fat Man” – with the emphasis on the ...


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The Rock Hall's 15th Annual American Music Masters series will honor Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew

Thursday, August 19: 4:05 p.m.

“There is no, no, no place like New Orleans for music. The pioneers are here. We built the house. You can redecorate it, but we laid the foundation.”

-Dave Bartholomew
 
We are very excited about this year’s American Music Masters Series!  The program, entitled “Walking to New Orleans: The Music of Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew” will be held here in Cleveland November 8-13th. Domino, a legendary piano player, wonderful singer, and galvanizing performer, and Bartholomew, an accomplished trumpet player, arranger and bandleader, make up one of the great partnerships of rock and roll. They wrote more than 50 songs together, including “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” “I’m in Love Again” and “I’m Walkin.’” In a 1999 interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dave Bartholomew said “Fats and I, I think that the Lord put us together.” Domino responded, “I’m pretty sure...Who else would do it?” We are so grateful to our honorees and their families for all their help in making this event possible. We met with them back in June, which Terry Stewart described in a previous blog post.
 
Because Domino and Bartholomew both predate rock and roll and are first ...


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