Back in 1986, boogie-woogie piano man Fats Domino taped an episode of our city’s eponymous TV show ‘Austin City Limits’ in the show’s intimate original location, Studio 6A, on the University of Texas campus.
As the show prepared to move from its hideaway to fancy new digs at ACL Live, then-Statesman music writer Michael Corcoran described the performance as his favorite ‘ACL’ taping.
“Nothing else has come close,” he wrote in 2010. “His band that night was led by the New Orleans legend Dave Bartholomew, who wrote such classics as “Ain’t That a Shame” and “I’m Walking” for Mr. Domino and “I Hear You Knocking” for Smiley Lewis. I never thought I’d get the chance to see Fats Domino perform, yet there he was, so close that I could see his sweat hit the floor.”
Twenty years after the taping, in July of 2006, New West Records released the audio as a Fats Domino, “Live From Austin Texas” recording. While you can’t hear the sweat hitting the floor, the audio production is superb. It captures the dynamic energy that made Domino one of the all time greats in a rollicking performance loaded with classics like “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday,” “Blueberry Hill” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.”
The album is available to stream on Spotify. Go ahead and give it a spin and relive that night over 30 years ago when the blues legend gave Austin a real good “Shake Rattle & Roll.”