Fats Domino Blue Monday, was a popular song in the 1950’s. Blue Monday was originally written by Dave Bartholomew; who had a very successful relationship with Fats Domino. Fats Domino’s Blue Monday rendition is not the original recording, as the first version is attributed to Smiley Lewis.
Smiley Lewis was an exceptional artist in his own right, and depending on your taste, his version is arguably better than the Fats Domino version. The Lewis version has a slower sound; the piano introduction that Fats Domino later added is missing. Finally there is a guitar solo from Smiley Lewis. This solo is sadly thrown into the bin for the Fats Domino version.
Surprisingly Lewis did not have the same success as Fats Domino. Lewis sounded quite unique for the time with his sound on Blue Monday. It was not the hit it perhaps should have been for Lewis, however when Fats Domino did it a few years later, it became more in favour with people of the time and he had more success. Poor Smiley Lewis, despite being an exceptional talent was not able to make the same waves as Fats Domino was able to.
Fats Domino Release his version of Blue Monday
After the Smiley Lewis version we had to wait a few years for Fats Domino to release his version. The piano intro being one of the key differences to the earlier version and with the drums having a lot more prominence. Fats Domino claiming a writing credit for the version. The guitar solo from Lewis is gone; with that goes the need to pay any due credit to Lewis. This version was however one of the first ever Rhythm and Blues songs to make the charts. It even reached the UK charts at number 23.
Blue Monday influences on other artists.
Blue Monday went on to influence many artists and areas of pop culture since its initial release. It has been covered on numerous occasions by different artists. Cat Stevens performing an interesting version of it , which has the iconic Fats Domino style piano sounds in it; Stevens clearly more influenced by Domino than the Smiley Lewis version. Huey Lewis and The News, perhaps most famous for their music which featured in Back To The Future Franchise, covered Blue Monday song in 1994. Blue Monday was the title of a 2006 Domino biographic by Rick Coleman.