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"Ain't That a Shame" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino's recording of the song (mistitled on the single's label as "Ain't It a Shame"), released by Imperial Records in 1955,[1] was a hit, eventually selling a million copies. It reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 10 on the pop chart.[2] The song is ranked number 438[3] on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

"Ain't That a Shame"
Ain't It a Shame - Fats Domino.jpg
Single by Fats Domino
from the album Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino
Released14 April 1955
Format7-inch single
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew
Fats Domino singles chronology
"Don't You Know"
"Ain't That a Shame"
"All by Myself"
"Ain't That a Shame!"
Single by The Four Seasons
from the album Ain't That a Shame and 11 Others
B-side"Soon (I'll Be Home Again)" (from the same album)
ReleasedApril 1963
LabelVee-Jay Records
Songwriter(s)Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew
Producer(s)Bob Crewe
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Walk Like a Man"
"Ain't That a Shame!"
"Candy Girl"
"Ain't That a Shame"
Ain't That a Shame - Cheap Trick.jpg
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Cheap Trick at Budokan
B-side"ELO Kiddies"
ReleasedJuly 1979
GenrePower pop, hard rock
Songwriter(s)Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew
Producer(s)Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick singles chronology
"I Want You to Want Me"
"Ain't That a Shame"
"Dream Police"

The song gained national fame after being re-recorded by the white recording artist Pat Boone.[4] Domino's version soon became more popular, bringing his music to the mass market a half-dozen years after his first recording, "The Fat Man".[5] After "Ain't That a Shame", mainstream artists began covering Domino's songs. Teresa Brewer, for instance, performed Domino's version of the folk song "Bo Weevil".

The song has also been covered by Four Seasons (1963), John Lennon (1975) and Cheap Trick (1978), among others.


Pat Boone coverEdit

Pat Boone recorded the song in 1955. According to legend, Pat Boone suggested changing the title and lyrics to "Isn't That a Shame" to make it more appealing to a broader audience but was dissuaded by his producers.[6] Nevertheless, Boone's recording of the song was his first Billboard number-one single, spending two weeks as #1 on the Billboard Most Played in Jukeboxes charts. Domino complimented Boone's cover of the song.[4] Boone liked to tell a story about a concert at which Domino invited Boone on stage, showed a big gold ring and said, "Pat Boone bought me this ring," since Domino and Bartholomew, as the song's writers, received royalties on it from record sales or radio airplay of other performers' cover versions of their song.[7]

Cheap Trick coverEdit

Cheap Trick's version charted at #35 after being released on their 1978 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Reportedly, this was Fats Domino's favorite cover.[8] Domino also gave Cheap Trick his gold record for his 1955 single, which is held by guitarist Rick Nielsen. [9] Another live version of song, recorded in 1999, was released on the 2001 album Silver.

Cheap Trick performed the song live as the finale of the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. They were joined by Robert Lamm, James Pankow, Lee Loughnane and Walter Parazaider of Chicago, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, Steven Van Zandt, Rob Thomas and Paul Shaffer.

Chart positionsEdit

Chart (1979) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 35
Canadian RPM Top Singles 10
Dutch Singles Chart 25
New Zealand Singles Chart 24

Other cover versionsEdit

A version of the song by the Four Seasons reached number 22 on the Billboard charts in 1963.[10] It was included in their 1963 studio album Ain't That A Shame and 11 Others.

"Ain't That a Shame" was the first song that John Lennon learned to play. He later covered it on the album Rock 'n' Roll (1975).[11] Lennon's version is also the opening track on the 2007 tribute album Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard Records).

Fellow Beatles member Paul McCartney has also recorded the song on multiple occasions; first in 1988 on Снова в СССР, then in 1990 on Tripping the Live Fantastic. The latter was recorded live during his world tour.

Other artists to have covered Domino's original version include Hank Williams, Jr. with the Mike Curb Congregation (1971),[12] Tanya Tucker on Lovin' and Learnin' (1976), Brownsville Station on their eponymous 1977 album, and Mud on their 1982 album Mud featuring Les Gray. On the other hand, Pat Torpey covered the Cheap Trick version on Y2K (1999).

In other mediaEdit

Domino performed the song in the 1956 film Shake, Rattle & Rock!. The song is used in the films American Graffiti, October Sky, L.A. Story, School Ties and Mischief. As of April 2007, the song can be heard in commercials for Dr Pepper. It can be heard at the end of the Season Four finale of the television series The Shield. It was also included in the soundtrack for the 2010 video game Mafia II.

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Domino, Fats. "The Story of Fats Domino's 'Ain't That a Shame'". NPR. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  2. ^ "Fats Domino | Awards". AllMusic. 1928-02-26. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  3. ^ Rodman, Sarah. "Fats Domino, 'Ain't It a Shame' - 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  4. ^ a b "Show 6 – Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: The Rock Revolution Gets Underway. [Part 2]". 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 122. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
  6. ^ Cavallo, Dominick (1999). A Fiction of the Past: The Sixties in American History. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 151. ISBN 0-312-21930-X.
  7. ^ [1] Archived August 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Sullivan, Denise. "Ain't It a Shame". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). Record Research. p. 237.
  11. ^ "Ain't That A Shame by Fats Domino Songfacts". Retrieved 2015-11-01.
  12. ^ "Hank Williams Jr. - Ain't That A Shame". YouTube. Retrieved 25 October 2017.

External linksEdit