Select Page

Fats Domino John DeTittaWhen Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 it left a path of destruction that we’re still fixing today over 7 years later.  Of the objects in the path of the hurricane there was one piece of musical history that got partially ruined along with the levees, houses, cars, and other objects.  This Huffington Post article describes the story of a beautifully white Steinway piano whose former owner was none other than Fats Domino.

The story of the piano’s restoration is an inspiring one.  When one of the levees broke in August 2005 in New Orleans water surged into Fats Domino’s home in the lower 9th ward.  The piano was obviously damaged, but luckily it wasn’t damaged beyond repair.  After receiving over $30,000 in donations, the Louisiana Museum Foundation was able to successfully restore the piano to working condition; the piano will soon be displayed as the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the Old U.S. Mint Museum in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

The most significant donation came from Allan Slaight, who is a retired music producer who lives in Miami.  Other gifts used to help restore the piano came from Sir Paul McCartney, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Tipitina’s Foundation.  As to Fats Domino and his significance to the history of music in New Orleans, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne had this to say, “Fats Domino is a seminal figure in American music, and he will have a prominent place in the coming Louisiana music exhibit,” said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees the Louisiana State Museum. “His beautiful grand piano, fully restored, will serve as the perfect symbol for Louisiana’s resilient nature and ever-evolving musical heritage.”

Fats Domino was born in New Orleans in the year of 1928 and was a famous pianist, singer, and songwriter.  He sold more than 65 million records and made it onto Billboard’s pop chart 77 times and its rhythm and blues chart 61 times.  Kudos to the team that got together to restore this piece of music history, and to the Louisiana State Museum for keeping the history of New Orleans’ music intact.