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This is a heartache song about a breakup that was the other partner's fault. Domino wrote it with Dave Bartholomew, who worked on most of Domino's hits.
This was the first song to crossover from the R&B charts to the mostly white pop charts of the day. Like several other songs previously heard exclusively in black bars or nightclubs, this was covered by the crooning Pat Boone. Concerned about how educated, upper-class whites would respond to the title, he originally wanted it changed to "Isn't That a Shame," but the producers realized the original title would sell better and kept it.
Boone's cover was a huge hit, going to #1 on the US Pop charts and reaching #7 in the UK. This gave Domino's original recording a boost, and helped it cross over.
This was Fats Domino's first hit song that was not recorded in New Orleans, where the singer lived. He recorded it on March 15, 1955 in a Hollywood studio when he was on tour in Los Angeles. Imperial Records had the engineers compress Fats' vocals and speed up the song a bit to make the song sound less bluesy and give it more mainstream appeal. This also made it more difficult for other artists to cover the song.
In 1960, Domino recorded a sequel called "Walking To New Orleans," where he leaves and goes back to his hometown.
This was used in the 1972 movie American Graffiti. It was also used in the movie October Sky. (thanks, duff - Paris'suburb, France)
Cheap Trick's 1978 cover went to #35 in the US and helped make their At Budokan
album a huge hit. A portion of the first guitar solo in their version, played by Rick Nielsen, is lifted from the opening harmonica riff from the Beatles' "Please Please Me
." That same riff is also used in the guitar outro to the track "The House is Rockin' (Domestic Problems)" from the band's 1980 album Dream Police
According to Nielsen, Cheap Trick got the idea to record the song after hearing John Lennon's 1975 cover version. (thanks, DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation, and Sam - Lincoln, NE)
In 2007, this was used in commercials for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. (thanks, Taylor - Bealeton, VA)
This was the first song that John Lennon learned to play. Lennon later recorded the song in a duet with Yoko Ono, and his fellow Beatle Paul McCartney also recorded the song.
A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.