Monday, September 15, 2014

Fats Domino - Good Hearted Man (Imperial 5764)

Good Hearted Man

By now you all know how I feel about Cosimo Matassa and the importance of his contributions to American music. He was a genuine Giant.

Since he passed away last week, there's been quite a lot written about him in the press, but it all seems to focus (understandably so) on the atom-bomb like explosion of Rock & Roll that emanated from his J&M Studio in the early fifties, but there's a lot more to the story...

Our mission over on The Cosimo Code is to demonstrate that Cos played just as large a role in the big fat sound of the 'second wave' of New Orleans chart domination - the period I like to call 'The Mother-In-Law Era'. Starting roughly with Jessie Hill's Ooh Poo Pah Doo in May of 1960 and continuing on through Barbara Lynn's You're Gonna Need Me in December of '62, records cut at Cosimo Recording on Governor Nicholls (not, as is widely reported, at J&M, which had closed it's doors in late 1956) spent an incredible 477 weeks on the Billboard Charts, including 14 weeks at #1 R&B. Wow!

People also refer to this as the 'post Fats Domino' era but, as you can see from today's selection, that is not entirely accurate. Cosimo continued to work with Fats and Dave Bartholomew after the move from J&M, cutting quite a few hits in the process. Judging from the Billboard ad at left, Imperial wasn't quite sure which side of this one was going to take off, but it turned out to be the flip, Let The Four Winds Blow, which would climb all the way to #2 R&B in the Summer of 1961 (kept from the top slot by Bobby Lewis' monster Tossin' and Turnin'), and become Fats' last appearance in the top ten. Both sides are great, and a testimony to the depth and variety of material that Cosimo was cutting at his studio in the early sixties... a period which is often overlooked.

Cosimo's unique vision and expertise in the studio would continue to be felt well into the 'soul era' (for more on all of that, please visit The A Side), and the music he had a hand in creating will live on forever. It is hard to imagine what the world might have been like without him... I am honored to have met him and shook his hand, and I am proud of the small part I play in preserving his legacy.

Let The Four Winds Blow!