SONG: Blueberry Hill
ARTIST: Fats Domino
Listen to it here:
Blueberry Hill was actually published way back in 1940, but didn’t become famous until this version we’re listening to today. The music was written by Vincent Rose, and the lyrics by Larry Stock and Al Lewis. It’s super weird, but the song was actually recorded 6 times in 1940 – by Gene Krupa, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gene Autry, and Jimmy Dorsey, among others. Who knew?
Anyway, it became a rock and roll standard after Fats Domino recorded it on what is otherwise an incredibly underwhelming record (in my opinion) called This Is Fats. Fats Domino’s version reached number 2 for three weeks on the Billboard Top 40 charts, and did even better on the R&B bestsellers.
For more on Fats, please go to our review in January 2021 of the album “This is Fats”
Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin made a cover performance of Blueberry Hill in 2010 before an audience of international film and TV celebrities in support of a charity for sick children.
This song makes me think of one of two things – Fats swaying on his piano bench, smiling and singing, and that old Far Side comic of a guy finding his drill on Blueberry Hill. Anyway, I like this song! I don’t really have too much to say about it, as we already reviewed the whole dang album it’s on. It sounds like a pretty textbook shuffle, triplets and that typical bass line in the left hand. Fats, although not a virtuosic singer, sounds good. The band is fine too, although their tuning I find a bit dubious, especially the horns/saxes. It’s definitely not anything groundbreaking, but it’s a decent enough song.
Ok, knowing the rest of this album will hopefully not sway my opinion of this one song. I like this song. It’s chill, Fats sounds right in his range, and the criminally out of tune saxophones are lingering in the background. The triplets in the piano and drums are fine when it’s just this one song, and actually, listening to this song and then moving on to something else is fine, I think I’m going to try to remember Fats as a one-hit wonder, and try to ignore the rest of that album. Unfortunately, you can’t unhear the tuning on that album and it haunts this review. Because of that, I’m giving this song a like, not a love.
Average mark out of 10:
Other notable versions of this song:
A super fun live Louis Armstrong version:
And…..of COURSE you’re getting the Vladimir Putin version, dear reader!
Here’s a palate cleanser after the Putin nonsense. Not my favourite of Sir Elton’s but at least the man has a personality!
Listen with us!
Link to 1,001 Songs to Hear Before You Die spotify playlist: