American Masters (2016 Season): Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ’n’ Roll

Key Interviewees

Air date: 02/26/2016

American Masters: Fats Domino and The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Premieres nationally on the legendary performer’s 88th birthday Friday, February 26 at 10 p.m. (check local listings)


Key film interviewees

(In alphabetical order)


Dave Bartholomew – Fats Domino’s creative partner from 1949 through 2006. This is an original interview filmed in New Orleans in 2010. It is the longest interview ever shot of Bartholomew.

Jon Cleary – A well-known New Orleans based pianist and a friend of Fats Domino. His piano style was heavily influenced by Domino. Interview filmed in New Orleans in 2010.

Rick Coleman – Fats Domino’s biographer and author of the book Blue Monday: Fats Domino and The Lost Dawn of Rock “N’ Roll. Interviews filmed in 2010 and 2013.

Billy Diamond – A close friend, he gave Fats Domino his first job as a pianist playing in his band in the late 1940’s. It was Diamond who gave him the nickname “Fats” even before Domino made a record. Interview filmed in Cleveland in 2011.

Cosimo Matassa – J&M studio owner, engineer and producer, his recording studio in New Orleans was where Fats Domino cut most of his records. Matassa worked closely with Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew for over 20 years. The interview was shot by Mitch Wood in 2001.

Ernest Mclean – Fats Domino’s and Dave Bartholomew’s guitarist beginning in the late 1940’s. Interview filmed in Cleveland in 2011.

Eddie Ray – Sales director for Fats Domino’s record label Imperial Records from the mid-1950s into the 1960s. He handled many aspects of Fats Domino’s recording success. Interview filmed in Cleveland in 2011.

Allen Toussaint – A world renowned New Orleans performer, pianist, songwriter and arranger, who idolized Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino. He became close friends with both men. Interview filmed in New York in 2013.