Ain't That a Shame

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"Ain't It a Shame"
Single by Fats Domino
from the album Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino
ReleasedApril 14, 1955
RecordedMarch 15, 1955
StudioMaster Recorders, 535 North Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood, California, U.S.
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew
Fats Domino singles chronology
"Don't You Know"
"Ain't It a Shame"
"All by Myself"

"Ain't That a Shame" is a song written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino's recording of the song, originally stated as "Ain't It a Shame", released by Imperial Records in 1955,[1][2] 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.[3] The song is ranked number 438[4] on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

This recording was included in the debut Fats Domino album Rock and Rollin' with Fats Domino (1956) and next in the compilation Fats Domino Swings (12,000,000 Records) (1958).[5] Later in 1963 the recording has been overdubbed by vocal chorus for the album Let's Dance with Domino (1963).[6] In 1983 Fats Domino re-recorded the song; this recording was included in his last album Alive and Kickin' (2006)[7] under the title "Ain't That a Shame 2000".

The song gained national fame after being covered by Pat Boone.[8] 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".[9] 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 The Four Seasons (1963), John Lennon (1975), Paul McCartney (1988) and most notably, Cheap Trick (1978), among others.

Pat Boone cover[edit]

"Ain't That a Shame"
Single by Pat Boone
from the album Pat Boone
B-side"Tennessee Saturday Night"
Released26 May 1955
RecordedMay 1955
StudioUniversal Recording Corporation, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Antoine Domino, Dave Bartholomew
Producer(s)Randy Wood
Pat Boone singles chronology
"Two Hearts"
"Ain't That a Shame"
"At My Front Door"

Pat Boone recorded the song in May 1955, just after the release of Fats Domino's single. This recording was released in the same month on single[10] under the title "Ain't That a Shame" and was included in his debut album Pat Boone (1956).[11] According to some sources, 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.[12] Nevertheless, Boone's recording of the song was his first Billboard number-one single, spending two weeks as number one on the Billboard "Most Played in Jukeboxes" charts. Domino complimented Boone's cover of the song.[8] 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.[13]

Cheap Trick cover[edit]

"Ain't That a Shame"
Single by Cheap Trick
from the album Cheap Trick at Budokan
B-side"ELO Kiddies"
ReleasedJuly 1979
RecordedApril 1978
VenueNippon Budokan, Tokyo
GenrePower pop, hard rock
Length5:10 (album) 3:08 (single)
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"
Music video
"Ain't That a Shame" on YouTube

Cheap Trick's version charted at number 35 after being released on their 1978 live album Cheap Trick at Budokan. Cash Box described it as a "superb rave-up of the Fats Domino classic."[14] Reportedly, this was Fats Domino's favorite cover.[15] Domino also gave Cheap Trick his gold record for his 1955 single, which is held by guitarist Rick Nielsen.[16] Another live version of the song, recorded in 1999, was released on the 2001 album Silver.

Classic Rock critic Malcolm Dome rated it as Cheap Trick's 4th greatest song, saying that even though it's a cover, "the band effectively made it their own."[17] Classic Rock History critic Michael Quinn rated it Cheap Trick's 8th best song, saying that it "starts off with more Bun E Carlos magic...then moves to a showcase of Rick Nielsen’s smarmy guitar work."[18]

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 history[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 35
Canadian RPM Top Singles[19] 13
Dutch Singles Chart 25
New Zealand Singles Chart 24

Other cover versions[edit]

A version of the song by the Four Seasons reached number 22 on the Billboard charts in 1963.[20] It was included in their 1963 studio album Ain't That A Shame and 11 Others. Cash Box described it as "a raunchy, medium-paced, multi-dance romancer."[21]

Other artists to have covered Domino's original version include Hank Williams, Jr. with the Mike Curb Congregation (1971).[22] It reached #16 in Canada.[23] It was also covered by 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 Odd Man Out: Y2K (1999).

In other media[edit]

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. 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 also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Fats Domino - Ain't It a Shame / La-La (Imperial 5348 and X5348, April 1955)". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  2. ^ Domino, Fats. "The Story of Fats Domino's 'Ain't That a Shame'". NPR. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Fats Domino | Awards". AllMusic. 26 February 1928. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  4. ^ Rodman, Sarah (11 December 2003). "Fats Domino, 'Ain't It a Shame' - 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Fats Domino - Fats Domino Swings (12,000,000 Records) (Imperial LP 9062, December 1958)". Retrieved 22 January 2020..
  6. ^ "Fats Domino - Let's Dance with Domino (Imperial LP-9239, May 1963)". Retrieved 22 January 2020..
  7. ^ "Fats Domino - Alive and Kickin' (Fats Domino Publishing Company CD, 2006)". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Show 6 – Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: The Rock Revolution Gets Underway. [Part 2]". 20 October 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 122. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
  10. ^ "Pat Boone - Ain't That a Shame / Tennessee Saturday Night (Dot 45-15377, 26 May 1955)". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Pat Boone - Pat Boone (Dot DLP-3012, 1956)". Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Biography". Pat Boone website. Archived 23 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. August 4, 1979. p. 13. Retrieved 2022-01-01.
  15. ^ Sullivan, Denise (May 7, 2012). "Ain't It a Shame". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Rick Nielsen on Instagram: "#FatsDomino #RIP "To Fats Domino" "Ain't It A Shame" For Selling One Million Records" This Gold Record from 1955 was given to #CheapTrick…"". Instagram. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  17. ^ Dome, Malcolm (June 28, 2016). "The top 10 best Cheap Trick songs". Classic Rock. Louder Sound. Retrieved 2022-06-19.
  18. ^ Quinn, Michael (16 June 2022). "Top 10 Cheap Trick Songs". Classic Rock History. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  19. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - October 6, 1979" (PDF).
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). Record Research. p. 237.
  21. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. April 13, 1963. p. 8. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  22. ^ "Hank Williams Jr. - Ain't That A Shame". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  23. ^ "RPM Top 50 Country Singles - February 26, 1972" (PDF).