Dave Bartholomew: A Genius Songwriter

Dave Bartholomew

Dave Bartholomew, is a name within music which is not quite as well known as it should be, because he was influential to many popular musicians. His song writing credits speak for themselves and have proved to stand the test of time.

Who is Dave Bartholomew?

David Louis Bartholomew; an American all round music man. Bartholomew was born Christmas Eve 1918 to Louis and Mary. Bartholomew would involve himself in most aspects of the music industry throughout his life. He primarily active within the New Orleans scene from around 1933 when his parents moved the New Orleans. His father played the tuba. This was the first instrument which Dave would learn to play. He then went on to learn the trumpet. Sharing a mentor with the renowned Louis Armstrong.

His solo performer career

After continuing to learn more about music during the war. Bartholomew was fronting up his own band in New Orleans. For a few years the band ( Dave Bartholomew and the Dew Droppers ) continued to progress and gain local acclaim within New Orleans. The band are described to be a model for early rock and roll bands by historian Robert Palmer. This success led to the relationship with Imperial Records and Bartholomew. Bartholomew starting off as sort scout and music relations role, but which he was to eventually become a songwriter and producer. Bartholomew gaining song writing credits for some fantastically successful and timeless songs. The Monkey is a particularly funky song by Bartholomew from 1957, as he never stopped making his own music throughout his successful song writing and producing years. Check it out below.

Song writing credits of Dave Bartholomew

Dave Bartholomew played a part in many recognisable songs. He shares many a song writing credit with late Fats Domino. The earliest song which Bartholomew wrote to go on to be a chart hit was in 1952, My Ding A Ling. This would go to be a major hit for Chuck Berry, number 1 in both the UK and USA charts.

In 1954 Bartholomew wrote Blue Monday which was recorded by Smiley Lewis. Blue Monday would not be a chart success though for Lewis. It was recorded by Fats Domino in 1956 and done positively, arguably Smiley Lewis did a better version.

1955 was another great year of song writing for Dave Bartholomew. He wrote the song ‘I Hear You Knocking’, the first recording was done by Smiley Lewis. Lewis producing a great version, but sadly once again this would not be a hit for him. It would be a hit in the US for Gale Storm and in 1970 in the UK for Dave Edmunds as a number 1 record.

Number 1 originally written by Dave Bartholomew and others.

1955 would also yield the song ‘Aint that a Shame’ which was originally performed by Fats Domino. This time despite the song being performed by Domino, it would not originally be a sucess for him. The song, however was actually number 1 in the US in 1955. The singer was Pat Boone, his version got all the critical acclaim at the time, but many now regard the version by Fats Domino to be superior. Listen to both versions below and you can decide.

Pat Boone reaching number 1 with Aint That a Shame
Fats Domino with perhaps a better version?

Song writing 1956 and onwards

1956 saw Bartholomew get another writing credit on a hit song. Once again originally recorded by Smiley Lewis. One Night reached number 4 in the US chart for none other than Elvis Presley. The song would also be a number 1 in the UK twice originally in 1958 and then again when reissued in 2005.

Bartholomew continued to write notable songs until the early 1960’s. His last song of note that he wrote was written in 1961 “It Keeps Rainin” and originally performed by Fats Domino. It would be a number 2 in the UK chart in 1993 for Bitty McLean.

Bitty McLean 1993 Number 2 hit.

The Dave Bartholomew legacy.

The songs mentioned above were not all written solely by Bartholomew. He did have a writing credit for them all. His body of work in extensive and the above few songs are just a small sample of the calibre of songs he was involved in writing. He recently passed away but leaves a legacy of music behind for millions to enjoy.