- Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage
- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
Domino documentary on PBS
Fats Domino lost his sprawling yellow-and-white house during Hurricane Katrina and with it, the keepsakes of an extraordinary career that took him from New Orleans honky-tonks to become a worldwide hit maker.
When Katrina swamped his Lower 9th Ward neighborhood and 80 percent of his hometown with floodwater, Mr. Domino lost his home, three pianos, dozens of gold and platinum records and other memorabilia.
So, when the 80-year-old singer took the stage at a popular New Orleans club for the first time after the 2005 storm, fans cheered and cried as he bopped the upbeat strains of “I’m Walkin’” and crooned “Ain’t That a Shame,” along with a host of other hits.
Footage from that appearance in May 2007, his first and last since Katrina, is the basis of a new documentary, “Fats Domino: Walkin’ Back to New Orleans,” that will air on public broadcasting stations over the next few years.
Songs from the performance are interwoven with interviews from Mr. Domino’s friends and fellow musicians, including Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Randy Newman and Allen Toussaint. The roughly hourlong film is narrated by actor John Goodman, who has strong connections to the city.
“They did a good job,” Mr. Domino said softly during a recent invitation-only showing of the film in New Orleans.
“It turned out real nice, and I’m real grateful they did that for me,” he said as he sat among friends, swapping stories and nibbling on crawfish minipies.
Before the screening, reissues of his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame awards for “Ain’t That a Shame” and “Blueberry Hill” were presented to Mr. Domino. They were among memorabilia lost or destroyed in Katrina’s flooding.
Mr. Domino’s return to the stage at Tipitina’s music club in 2007 is a highlight in what otherwise has been a rough few years. Besides losing his home and almost all of his belongings, he misses his wife, Rosemary, who died in April. The couple had been married for more than 50 years.
“He’s missing her,” said Charisse Smith, Mr. Domino’s 35-year-old granddaughter, who was among those to get a first look at the film. “My grandmother was there for him every day, all day. Her presence is definitely missed.”
For many, Mr. Domino’s performance was a hopeful sign in the city’s painstaking recovery.
“It was an amazing night,” recalled Mary von Kurnatowski, co-founder of the Tipitina’s Foundation, the nonprofit organization affiliated with the club.
Mr. Domino now lives in the New Orleans suburb of Harvey but often visits his publishing house, an extension of his old home in the Lower 9. The studio, a classic shotgun double built in the 1930s, was rebuilt after Katrina by the Tipitina’s Foundation. It is one of a few refurbished structures in the neighborhood.
Though surrounded by blocks of abandoned homes and overgrown lots, “he loves to go and visit that house,” Miss von Kurnatowski said. “He has tremendous memories of decades using that building, of musicians he’s worked with, and of time spent there with his family.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Russian bombers buzz U.K. airspace; jets scrambled to chase off 'Bears'
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- ISTOOK: Obama's sleight of hand hides hidden government's work
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014