♫ Walking to New Orleans ♫

I’m taking you back a bit further than usual, to the year 1960. For some of you, this dates back before you were even born, and I suppose it says something that I remember the song quite well.  The song has a rather unique birth.  Written by Bobby Charles specifically for Fats Domino (Antoine Domino, Jr.) it came about thusly …

Domino was a hero of Charles. Domino had previously recorded the Charles tune Before I Grow Too Old. When Domino stopped on tour in Lafayette, Louisiana, he invited Charles into his dressing room, and regretted he did not have a copy of his new record to give to Charles, but invited Charles to come visit him in Domino’s home of New Orleans. Charles replied, “I don’t have a car. If I’d go, I’d have to walk.” Afterwards, the thought remained on Charles’s mind, and he said he wrote the song for Domino in some 15 minutes.

After he got to New Orleans to accept Domino’s invitation, Charles sang Walking to New Orleans for Domino. Domino was enthusiastic about the number and made a few modifications to it, including adding a quote from his earlier hit, Ain’t That A Shame.

This is the song that launched the music career of Ricky Nelson, who had 34 Top 40 hits in the US between 1957-1964. Nelson was starred with his real-life parents on the popular TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which ran 1952-1966 on ABC. According to Nelson’s biographer Philip Bashe, Ricky got the urge to record when he was 16 years old and on a date with a girl who told him how much she loved Elvis, prompting Ricky to tell her Elvis wasn’t that special and that he was going to make his own record. After a few years pestering his dad, Ricky convinced Ozzie – who was a popular band leader in the ’30s – to let him record this Fats Domino song, which contained the only two chords he knew how to play. It became a surprise hit, equaling Domino’s #4 chart placing after he performed it on the family TV series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.Ozzie-Harriet

Walking to New Orleans
Fats Domino

This time I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m gonna need two pair of shoes
When I get through walkin’ these blues
When I get back to New Orleans
I’ve got my suitcase in my hand
Now ain’t that a shame?
I’m leavin’ here today
Yes, I’m goin’ back home to stay
Yes, I’m walkin to New Orleans
You used to be my honey
Till you spent all my money
No use for you to cry
I’ll see you by and by
‘Cause I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’ve got no time for talkin’
I’ve go to keep a-walkin’
New Orleans is my home
That’s the reason why I’m goin’
Yes, I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans

Songwriters: Antoine Domino / Dave Bartholomew / Robert Charles Guidry
Walking to New Orleans lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

14 thoughts on “♫ Walking to New Orleans ♫

  1. Dear Fats. Another great from my home state of Louisiana. He was rescued and lived through hurricane Katrina. We lived in Baton Rouge at the time. It happened on my husband’s birthday. Louisiana has never been the same. He and Percy Sledge…such legends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought you might like this one better than yesterday’s Kenny G 😉 And yes, he had a tremendous voice, but was also an entertainer … he knew how to make you feel like he was singing to you, as did many from the group you mention. Many of today’s artists don’t have that skill.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great choice, Jill. It seems I say that a lot, but you deserve it. How about a little Kaw-liga, Hank Williams Sr. style. The radio would probably ban it these days for not being politicly correct, but to hell with them. It’s a happy but heart-breaking little story, not intended to insult anyone. First recorded 1952, the year before he died.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, does this suck me back in time. Mom enjoys listening to music. She used to put albums on to hear as she cleaned the house. Fats was one that she often played, along with Chubby Checkers, the Four Platters, Ink Spots, Johnny Mathis, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin…you get the idea. I grew up knowing many songs of the fifties and sixties because Mom loves music, and listened to it while she cleaned and cook. Need I say that we ate well and she had a spotless house?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I get the idea! 😀 I can actually picture your mom cleaning house with Count Basie booming from the old record player. Nowadays, I am much the same, but instead of the record player, it is an Ipod and ear buds! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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