NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Dave Bartholomew, a man of many talents and the man credited in discovering Fats Domino, has passed away according to Nola.com. He was 100-years-old.
Bartholomew was a trumpet player, bandleader, composer, songwriter, producer and talent scout who was one of the key architects of New Orleans’ sound.
He was born on December 24, 1920 in Edgard, Louisiana. As a child he learned how to play the tuba and the trumpet and began playing with older bands in his teens. He played trumpet on a riverboat in Mississippi in Fats Pichon’s band before becoming the bandleader after Pichon left.
Bartholomew later learned how to arrange music during World War II and later returned to New Orleans to start his own band. While playing at a Houston nightclub, he met the owner of Imperial Records, Lew Chudd and was soon hired as the company’s A&R person.
He suggested to Chudd that they should check out Fats Domino at a local New Orleans Club. Chudd signed Domino to Imperial Records and Bartholomew soon became his producer.
After bringing Domino to Imperial Records in 1949, the duo collaborated to bring the sound of New Orleans to the world.
While much of his work was with Domino, Bartholomew also worked with other well known New Orleans musicians such as Smiley Lewis, Lloyd Price, Shirley & Lee, Earl King, Roy Brown, Huey “Piano” Smith, Chris Kenner, Robert Parker, Frankie Ford, James Booker, Jewel King, Bobby Mitchell, James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, Pee Wee Crayton and Tommy Ridgely.
As a recording artist, Bartholomew had one national R&B hit with “County boy” in 1950. As a writer and composer he played major roles in hits such as Smiley Louis’ “I Hear You Knockin’” which he wrote and Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” with Domino on piano.
Bartholomew was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
He is survived by his two sons, Ron and Don.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.