Fats Domino dead: Why the late musician was the reason Elvis Presley hated being called 'The King'

The two shared a professional respect and touching friendship until Presley's death

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 25 October 2017 17:21 BST
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Rock and roll legend Fats Domino dies, aged 89

Legendary musician Fats Domino has died at the age of 89 leaving behind a career which saw the icon pioneer rock and roll and inspire countless artists fro over the decades.

One key musician the New Orleans musician influenced was Elvis Presley, a professional respect that evolved into a beautiful friendship which has been well documented over the years.

In fact, the singer and pianist was held in such stead by Presley that he refused to answer to his popular moniker 'King of Rock 'n' Roll' when Fats Domino was around.

As reported by AXS, Domino recounted the first time he met Presley in an interview in June 2004: “[I] first met Elvis Presley in Las Vegas. When I was playing at the Flamingo Hotel I went to his room and played for him. He used to call me ‘Mr. Blueberry Hill.’ I remember him telling me, ‘You know, Fats, I’m opening up tomorrow but when I first came here I flopped.’ I guess the first time he didn’t do good at all.

“But after he got back there it was all gold, ’cause I was working there too, and every night it was sold out. Boy, he could sing. He could sing spirituals, country and western, everything he sang I liked.”

In 1969, Presley brought Domino on stage with him for a press conference in Las Vegas marking the “Suspicious Minds” singer's return to live performance after years of making movies. Music researcher and historian Craig Philo said: “When a reporter referred to Elvis as the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ at the press conference following his 1969 Las Vegas opening, he rejected the title, as he always did, calling attention to the presence in the room of his friend Fats Domino, ‘one of my influences from way back.

“He often paid homage to Fats recognising no one could sing those songs like he did.”

Domino inspired countless others including Paul McCartney who wrote one of The Beatles' most popular singles as a response to 1958 song "Blue Monday."

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