NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans street where one of the founders of rock ‘n’ roll spent most of his life is being renamed in his honor.
A community-wide Second line and Musical Celebration begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at the longtime home of Antoine “Fats” Domino on Caffin Avenue, which will now be known as Antoine “Fats” Domino Avenue. Led by the Stooges Brass Band, the second line will proceed down the renamed street to Oliver Bush Park, where musical tributes to Domino will occur.
Domino sold more than 110 million records, with hits including “Blueberry Hill,” ″Ain’t That a Shame” — originally titled “Ain’t It A Shame”— and other standards of rock ‘n’ roll. Saturday's free celebration will feature performances by Kermit Ruffin, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Al “Little Fats” Jackson and Domino’s grandson, Antoine Domino Jr.
Rev. Willie Calhoun, who has lived in the Lower 9 his whole life and is one of the celebration's organizers, said the recognition for Domino is a long-time coming.
“Fats never left the city and he's never really been celebrated, even though he chose to stay in New Orleans and to raise his family in the Lower 9," Calhoun said. “He had a choice to live anywhere he wanted and he made the choice to live right here.
“I think this event will help bring some life and recognition to the neighborhood. The Lower 9 has gotten so much negative press, we wanted to bring people back to the area and show them the reason why Fats stayed. He stayed because this is a valuable and viable community."
Domino died Oct. 24, 2017, of natural causes at the age of 89. He survived the massive flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina's landfall on Aug. 29, 2005, but had to be rescued by boat from his home, where he tried to ride out the storm. Storm surge flood waters poured into the Lower 9th Ward, knocking many homes off their foundations. A large barge was swept by flood waters into the neighborhood, leveling homes beneath it. The area was flooded again by Hurricane Rita a month later.