Steve Eighinger

Before the rest, there was Fats

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 30, 2017 9:20 am

Some of my best thinking is done when I'm behind the wheel of my 2007 Kia. Just me, the road and the radio.

I was in the car the other day, waiting at the stoplight at State and 12th when news broke concerning the death of music pioneer Fats Domino. He had passed at age 89 after a colorful career that included the memorable hits "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't That a Shame."

By the time the stoplight turned green, Fats' death had set my mind wandering, which leads us to today's installment of "Five and Five" -- five things that interest me deeply, and five that have barely registered on my personal radar.


º I had always considered Fats Domino one of the overlooked superstars, simply because of the era when he emerged. There was no internet, social media and barely any available television.

His brilliance was never lost on his peers, which helps explain why the flashy Fats was a member of the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and why his songs have been covered by such artists Led Zeppelin, Cheap Trick, Randy Newman, Ricky Nelson and John Lennon,

Rock Hall President and CEO Greg Harris may have best captured the legend -- and impact -- of the late Fats Domino. "Before Elvis, Jerry Lee and Chuck Berry, there was Fats," he said.

º I've been listening to a lot of old Bee Gees material lately, and, to be honest, it kind of saddens me. It's hard to believe there is only one of the three Gibb brothers still with us -- Barry, who is 71. Robin died in 2012 at age 62 and Maurice passed in 2003 at age 53.

The Gibbs wrote all of their own hits and are one of the most deserving acts ever to be inducted (1997) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. My personal favorites from Bee Gees are "To Love Somebody," "Holiday," "Words" and "Massachusetts."

º The Yankees fired Joe Girardi. That's amazing, in a stupid sort of way. He was the second-winningest manager in the history of baseball's most famous franchise.

º It will be interesting to see how historians react in the coming weeks and months with the release of the John F. Kennedy files. This kind of thing always intrigues me.

º I was also saddened to see that Robert Guillaume had died. Guillaume, who was 89, portrayed Benson, the acidic-tongued butler on "Soap" from 1977 to 1980. The first couple years of that show provided some of the funniest TV of that particular decade, even rivaling "All in the Family."

Not interested

º Kim Kardashian turned 37. Yawn.

º Khloe Kardashian is having a baby. Double yawn.

º Kim Kardashian says Kourtney Kardashian's friendship with her personal assistant is "unprofessional." Zzzzzz ....

º ESPN is reportedly planning more layoffs due in part to declining ratings. That really doesn't surprise me. Outside of its always top-notch game coverage, much of the network's other programming is a complete mess these days.

º I still have never seen an episode of "Game of Thrones."