Friday, February 26, 2010

They Call Me the Old Man

Antoine "Fats" Domino turns 82 years old today. I have him listed as five-foot-five, weighing well over 200 pounds, which doesn't seem like a formula for longevity. It must be all that great New Orleans food; one reason Fats stopped touring was that he couldn't find anything to eat anywhere else than in New Orleans.

How many pioneering rock & roll stars have made it as far as Fats? Not many. Here's a partial list of those who are still alive past the age of 80:

Pete Seeger is 90
B.B. King is 84
Chuck Berry is 83
Hal Blaine is 81
Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows is 80

That's not very many, is it? And I'm stretching things to refer to Pete Seeger as a rock & roll pioneer, although he is in the R&R Hall of Fame. Did I miss anyone?


  1. Johnny Otis is 88. One of the most interesting stories in rock & roll: Born to Greek parents, passed as black for part of his life, produced and/or A&R'd a number of early rock hits, including the original "Hound Dog" for Big Momma Thorton, as well as his own "Willie and the Hand Jive." Turns 89 in December. Go, Johnny, go.

  2. Yes. A 13-year-old Shuggie plays on the Johnny Otis album "Cold Shot." Excellent record.