Dave Bartholomew, a famed music producer, trumpeter, songwriter and band leader whose partnership with Fats Domino helped create the rock and roll genre of music, passed away in a New Orleans-area hospital at age 100.
Bartholomew’s son confirmed the news to the Associated Press on Sunday (June 23). "His body simply broke down. Daddy was 100 years and six months old. It was just that time," his son said.
During and after his music career, Bartholomew became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was the recipient of a special Grammy Trustees Award.
Dave is best known as a producer, songwriter and arranger behind Antoine “Fats” Domino’s biggest hits during the 1950s and '60s, some of which include “Ain’t That a Shame, “Blue Monday,” “Walking to New Orleans,” “I’m in Love Again, “I’m Walkin’,” “The Big Beat” and “Let the Four Winds Blow,” among others. He also helped arrange Domino’s versions of music standards, including “Blueberry Hill,” which would ultimately become Domino’s magnum opus.
On his relationship with Fats, Bartholomew said the musical bond was completely natural. "Actually, we never sat down to write anything. He and I just played," Bartholomew told The Times-Picayune in 2010. "I remember one time on 'I'm in Love Again,' we went outside and somebody said, 'Don't let the dog bite you.' So we come back and put that in the song."
The Bartholomew family’s legacy spans a full century as Dave had ties to Louis Armstrong and the birth of jazz to his son Don’s work with fellow New Orleans native Lil Wayne and other modern hip-hop artists.
Dave Bartholomew is survived by his wife and eight children as well as several grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.
Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images