The Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock and Roll

  • Directed by Joe Lauro
  • United States, 2015, 90 mins.

From New Orleans to Blueberry Hill, the teaming of Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. and Dave Bartholomew is remembered as a legendary partnership that changed the course of mid-century American music. After meeting at a Ninth Ward dive called The Hideaway, the two became songwriting partners. Under the banner of Imperial Records (where Bartholomew served as producer, arranger, and bandleader), they sold over 60 million records between 1949-62—a time when segregation and the civil rights movement dominated the cultural consciousness. Director and archivist Joe Lauro uses footage unearthed in the French National Archives to fashion a compelling portrait of this remarkable collaboration, charting the influence of New Orleans R&B upon the nascent genre of rock and roll, and featuring candid interviews with its still-vibrant subjects.

Genres: Documentary, Music, Historical