Remembering Dave Bartholomew
Dave Bartholomew will be remembered as one of rock ’n’ roll’s greatest producers. Bartholomew grew up on the outskirts of New Orleans and was always loved music. He got the chance to hear jazz for the first time on a showboat that passed by his hometown along the Mississippi river. Originally a tuba player, at a young age Bartholomew picked up the trumpet and had the privilege of getting to learn the instrument from Peter Davis, the music teacher who had tutored Louis Armstrong. Bartholomew’s contributions to music involved writing and co-writing works with the likes of Fats Domino and other jazz musicians active in the first half of the 20th century. Some of the songs that Bartholomew was involved with producing and writing included hits such as “Ain’t that a Shame,” “Blue Monday,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “I Hear You Knocking.”
After years of performing on showboats with Fats Pichon and being involved with a U.S. military band during World War II, Bartholomew started his own band in New Orleans which would serve as a precursor to many later developments in rock 'n' roll music. Dr. Ira Padnos, the founder of the Ponderosa Stomp stated that Bartholomew "created what might have been the first rock ’n’ roll record with ‘The Fat Man,’ ” a hit for Mr. Domino in 1949. “There was nothing else like it at the time. He put a heavy backbeat behind an old blues tune, and it became rock ’n’ roll.” Bartholomew passed away on June 23, 2019 in New Orleans at age 100.
Bartholomew's trumpet currently resides in the lobby of the New Orleans Jazz Museum as a donation from himself where it is being preserved for future generations.
Dave Bartholomew biography. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved from: https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/dave-bartholomew
American Masters PBS. (2016, February 24) Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino's Longtime Collaborator | PBS. [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1M-41MtLEc
Bill Friskic-Warren. (2019, June 23)Dave Bartholomew, Mainstay of New Orleans R&B, Dies at 100. New York Times: Obituaries. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/23/obituaries/dave-bartholomew-dies-at-100.html
Written by Southern University at New Orleans intern Andrew Baird