Domino, born in New Orleans in February 1928, sold more than 65 million records between 1950 and 1963, making Billboard’s pop chart 77 times and its rhythm and blues chart 61 times. The pianist, singer and songwriter is regarded as one of the forerunners of rock music, beloved by musicians including the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Billy Joel.
Reminded of his legacy and the inspiration he has been for so many musicians, Fat’s simply said, “That’s nice.”
“He’s so humble,” Murphy said.
It’s not surprising that Orpheus wanted to honor Domino and his music in some way. The Orpheus parade organization is rooted in music. It was co-founded in 1993 by New Orleans native singer Harry Connick Jr. and Sonny Borey, who serves as the parade organization’s captain.
Each year musical guests are invited to ride in the parade and perform at the glitzy ball held afterward at a nearby convention center.
Orpheus leaders have already announced that the 1970s rock band Cheap Trick will be headlining the 2014 Orpheuscapade gala.
Cheap Trick’s biggest hits include “Surrender,” ”I Want You to Want Me” and “The Flame.” The band remade one of Domino’s biggest hits,”Ain’t That a Shame,” in 1979.
As Murphy announced Cheap Trick’s involvement, he turned to Domino and said: “Maybe you can teach them a thing or two,” drawing a laugh from the legendary musician.
Other musical acts scheduled to perform at the gala include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Party Crashers.
Hunt, the artist chosen by the family to create the commemorative poster for the parade, said he’s beyond honored to be a part of this experience.
He said it just wasn’t an option for Fats to ride on a float.
“Riding in a parade is a lot more exhausting than people realize, especially when you’re throwing, not just waving,” Hunt said. “Very few of his age can do that. But what Orpheus has done rivals any celebrity sitting on a throne. This is going to be an interactive experience unlike anything that’s been done at Mardi Gras before. You’re going to get a Fats family reunion along with a live concert.
“No matter where you are on the parade route, you’ll have the best seat in the house.”
As for Domino, he had a simple message for his fans regarding his music’s place front and center during Mardi Gras.
“I hope they enjoy it,” he said.