Dave Bartholomew, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Dies at 100

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Nate Nickolai
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Dave Bartholomew, a New Orleans music pioneer best known for his songs with R&B legend Fat Domino, has died. He was 100.

Bartholomew, who co-wrote and produced such hits as “Ain’t That a Shame,” ″I’m Walkin’” and “Let the Four Winds Blow,” died Sunday in a New Orleans hospital, his eldest son Dave Bartholomew Jr. told the Associated Press.

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In addition to creating his own music, Bartholomew became a mainstay in the New Orleans music scene working behind the scenes at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio. He possessed an uncanny ability to bring singers and instrumentalists together, and, starting in the late 1940s, began working with a number of popular artists including Smiley Lewis, Snooks Eaglin, Little Sonny Jones, Pee Wee Crayton, Shirley and Lee, Frankie Ford, Sugarboy Crawford and most notably, Domino.

Domino and Bartholomew began working together in 1949 with Domino’s first record “The Fat Man,” marking the beginning of a prolific 14-year partnership. Together the pair made a number of hits including “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday,” “I Hear You Knocking” and “Whole Lotta Lovin’.”

Following his time with Domino, Bartholomew went on to record his own music as Dave Bartholomew and the Maryland Jazz Band and New Orleans Big Beat. He also joined Domino for international tours while appearing alongside Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and other New Orleans artists.

More recently, the pair performed together in 1999 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival before attending a premier together of a documentary about their work, Joe Lauro’s “The Big Beat.”

Bartholomew is survived by his wife, eight children, and 25 grandchildren.

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