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Home / Entertainment / Dave Bartholomew, composer from New Orleans, who helped create Rock & Roll, dies at the age of 100

Dave Bartholomew, composer from New Orleans, who helped create Rock & Roll, dies at the age of 100

Dave Bartholomew, a trumpeter, composer and bandleader whose uncanny ability to discover and promote promising performers, notably Fats Domino, helped transform the evolving genre of Rock & # 39; n & # 39; Shaping Roll in New Orleans died Sunday morning (June 23) at East Jefferson General Hospital, according to his son Ron. Mr. Bartholomew was 100 years old.

"It's virtually impossible to imagine the music canon of New Orleans without the influence of Dave Bartholomew," wrote Michael Hurtt at www.ponderosastomp.com. "Its devastating influence has determined the course of the city's jazz, rhythm and blues, rock & roll, soul & funk sounds for more than 50 years."

Bartholomew worked behind the scenes at Cosimo Matassa's J & M Recording Studio on the fringes of the French Quarter. There he found singers and instrumentalists and then played the musical matchmaker to bring them together in exactly the right combinations and produce dozens of recordings from the late 1


In addition to Domino, these artists included Smiley Lewis and Snooks Eaglin, Little Sonny Jones, Pee Wee Crayton, Shirley and Lee, Frankie Ford and Sugarboy Crawford.

"He really loved music, and he really loved being part of the birth of Rock'n Roll as an expression of New Orleans music," Gwen Thompkins, host of WWNO's "Music Inside Out."

"Not only did he like having hits, he also liked music and he liked to get the music right," she said.

Mr. Bartholomew, who served in the army during the Second World War, "led a dense ship in the studio," said George Ingmire, a documentary filmmaker who made oral histories of New Orleans musicians, and was not drunk, "Ingmire said." They do not have the number of hits, Fats Domino and others, who recorded in Cosimo Matassa's studio without this tight ship. There was an enthusiasm and a work ethic that got around. Dave set the tone. He was "hugely vivacious – a very powerful man and a perfectionist who wanted to show the world that he had the power to orchestrate the music and provide for Fats Domino," said Nick Spitzer, host of the public radio program "American Routes". "He was a tough cat, you did not want to mess with this guy."

Although Bartholomew had the reputation of being a Martinet, he was with musicians long enough to allow for the possibility of spontaneous magic as soon as people began to play, said Ingmire, who explained Mr. Bartholomew's success by saying, "He was at the intersection of industry and coincidence." Bartholomew's most famous protégé was Domino, whom he had contracted with his band as a prodigy in the 9th Ward. [19659002InadditiontohisotherdutieshewasascoutforImperialRecordsandonefatefuleveningheinvitedLewChuddownerofthelabeltohearDominoastheyoungmanplayedwithBillyDiamonds'sbandataclubonNorthRampartStreet

After hearing Domino "Junker Blues", Chudd signed a contract.

The song, which was renamed "The Fat Man," was the first record in 1949, Domino worked with Mr. Bartholomew.

This record marked a watershed in New Orleans music history because it blended dominoes faster, harder with Mr. Bartholomew's reliance on jump blues, said Rick Coleman, author of "Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Dawn of Rock & # 1. 39; n & # 39; roll ".

The result, he said, "was like two trains colliding, the two merging into a heavy rhythm that was the forerunner of the Rock'n'roll beat, and young people heard this music and had Music for dancing, which was rare at the time. "

" The Fat Man "launched a 14-year partnership that was incredibly productive, with dozens of hits including" I Walkin "& # 39 ;, & # 39; 39; Blue Monday & # 39 ;, I Hear You Knocking & # 39; Whole Lotta Lovin & # 39 ;.

However, this time was also fraught with tensions as the two men became diametrically opposed

Mr. Bartholomew "was not so obese because he was just a chubby pianist walking around in his overalls because he was a day laborer, a mechanic who worked in a mattress factory," Coleman said went into nightclubs in his overalls, which Dave did not like because people disguised themselves (in night clubs) have. "

Mr. Bartholomew also tried to polish Domino's music by, for example, giving his songs a structure by giving everyone a beginning, a middle and an end, Thompkins said.

"He was frustrated with fats that did not seem to care about it," she said.

When Domino's fame grew, Mr. Bartholomew wanted "that you know he was the man, the Fats Domino said Spitzer, who is also a folklorist at Tulane University. "They were yin and yang: he moved forward and was tough while Fats was upright and Creole."

Their relationship was "a kind of marriage" Thompkins said, "It was a turbulent marriage because Bartholomew always felt musically superior to Domino, but fats had the hits."

The two men "needed each other urgently – the man's sweet, honey-sweet voice that I could a white audience and a Svengali, who leads the band and ensures that all are ready, "said Spitzer. "They've found each other and it has become great music for both of them."

In an interview with Bartholomew and Domino in 2010, Eric Paulsen of WWL-TV and Keith Spera for The Times-Picayune, the Both men discussed their informal way of making music.

"Actually, we never sat down to write anything," said Bartholomew. "He and I just played. If we started a song and got lost … I remember once at & # 39; & # 39; I'm in Love Again & # 39 ;, when we went outside and someone said, "Do not let the dog bite you." So we come back and put that in the song.

"We've always had a lot of rhythm in our world, along with the blues, and we've also considered New Orleans, known for its Second Line. With that and with what we have added, we were very lucky. It has become too big. "

Mr. Bartholomew was born on Christmas Eve 1918 in Edgard. He was in the heart of the sugarcane country. Even after the family moved to New Orleans in 1933, Coleman said that Mr. Bartholomew occasionally came back to cut sugarcane when he needed money.

"He knew what hard work was," Coleman said, "and he knew he did not want to do it. "

Mr. Bartholomew's father played bass. The boy was hanging out in his father's barbershop, where he met with musicians to meet and go to concerts, Coleman said.

He learned tuba and then went to the trumpet. Coleman said the young musician had accidentally become aware of Peter Davis, who had taught Louis Armstrong in the Colored Waifs Home, and said he would be the mentor of the young man.

In addition to his natural talent, Mr. Bartholomew "really had a drive out of his truly needy youth to succeed and turn himself into someone who is successful and makes money.

He played in bands under the direction of Papa Celestin, Fats Pichon and Joe Robichaux. When Pichon broke up his band as a solo pianist, Mr. Bartholomew led the remnants of the ensemble, Coleman said, and he played in national bands led by Ernie Fields and Jimmie Lunceford before joining the army in World War II Bartholomew was in the service of his country, he did not let his musical instincts idle. He was a member of the 196th Army Ground Forces Band and has further developed his writing and arranging skills.

"He learned to be an arranger and bandleader," said Coleman. "That was his destiny."

When Mr. Bartholomew returned to civilian life in New Orleans, he put together a band that played swing and jump blues, Coleman said. His first appearance was at the Dew Drop Inn.

He joined J & M in 1947 and became a close associate of Cosimo Matassa, who, as Coleman said, invited Mr. Bartholomew to make arrangements. Around that time Bartholomew also met Chudd of Imperial Records, who, as Coleman said, invited him to find people whose talents were worth recording.

His career as a talent scout had begun. It was an ideal job, Thompkins said, because with years of experience and knowledge of the city and its musicians, Mr. Bartholomew knew where to find the best talent.

"I was always proud to have the best musician," Bartholomäus Hurtt said in an interview. "If I can not have the best musicians, I'd rather not play." deceptively simple guitar lines, "wrote Hurtt. "Solos, mostly played by saxophone or guitar, were full of emotion and seemed programmed to attract the listener's attention."

The result was known as "New Orleans Sound," wrote Hurtt, and Mr. Bartholomew considered "liberal" built on it until it was rooted in the soul of the city. "

Mr. Bartholomew left Imperial in 1950 and moved to other labels, including Decca, King and Specialty. He wrote and recorded "My Ding-a-Ling," which became a hit for Chuck Berry, and produced Lloyd Price's recording of "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," which Price had written with Domino, who was not playing the piano in the credits.

He also worked for Trumpet Records and Mercury Records, before founding his own label Broadmoor Records in 1967. A year later, the distribution of Dover Records went out of business.

In the 1970s, after three decades Bartholomew returned to this genre as he directed a traditional jazz band and joined Domino on his international tours.

The two men were honored in 2010 by the Music Masters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame series. It was the first time that the series honored a team.

Mr. Bartholomew is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

The survivors include his wife Rhea Bartholomew. five sons, Dave Jr., Don, Ron and Darrell Bartholomew and Alvin LeBeau, all from New Orleans; three daughters, Deborah Hubbard and Diane Wilson, both from New Orleans; and Jacqueline Temple of Atlanta; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The funeral home Charbonnet-Labat-Galpion will be responsible for the incomplete funeral arrangements.

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