Dave Bartholomew

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Dave Bartholomew
DaveBarth Cropped.jpg
Bartholomew in 1977
Background information
Birth name David Louis Bartholomew
Born (1918-12-24) December 24, 1918 (age 96)
Edgard, Louisiana United States
Genres Rhythm and blues, big band, swing, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz, Dixieland
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader, composer, arranger
Instruments Trumpet, tuba
Years active 1947 – present
Labels Imperial, De Luxe
Associated acts Fats Domino

David Louis Bartholomew (born December 24, 1918, Edgard, Louisiana) is a musician, band leader, composer and arranger, prominent in the music of New Orleans throughout the second half of the 20th century. Bartholomew has been active in many musical genres, including rhythm and blues, big band, swing music, rock and roll, New Orleans jazz and Dixieland.

Although many musicians have recorded Bartholomew's songs, his partnership with Fats Domino produced some of his greatest successes. In the mid 1950s they wrote more than forty hits for Imperial Records, including two songs that reached Number One on the Billboard R&B chart "Goin' Home" and "Ain't That a Shame".[1] He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[2]


He first learned to play the tuba but the trumpet later became his main instrument. He served with the U.S. Army in World War II; by November 1945 he was leading his own dance band in New Orleans, Dave Bartholomew and the Dew Droppers.[3] His professional career began in New Orleans, when he put together a group that included Alvin 'Red' Tyler, Earl Palmer and Lee Allen.

External video
Oral History, Dave Bartholomew shares early moments of his life story. interview date March 27, 2003, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library

He began recording in 1947 for De Luxe Records, but the company folded and he received little recognition. In 1949, however, he began working with Lew Chudd's Imperial Records as an arranger, bandleader and talent scout. He produced hits from Earl King, Tommy Ridgley, Robert Parker, Frankie Ford, Chris Kenner, Smiley Lewis, Shirley & Lee and Fats Domino, among others. He wrote, arranged and backed up recordings for T-Bone Walker between 1950 and 1954. He was responsible for the arrangements on the Fats Domino hits in the 1950s including the best seller "Blueberry Hill". He left Imperial in the mid-1960s and moved between several labels, including his own Broadmoor Records (named for his neighborhood of New Orleans, Broadmoor).[4]

As of 2009 he is still involved in the music business and releasing recordings of his own. He also plays traditional jazz trumpet at Preservation Hall, despite his millionaire status.


Bartholomew helped develop and define the New Orleans sound which was so influential in the 1950s. He was key in the transition from jump blues and big band swing to rhythm and blues and rock and roll.[4]

Bartholomew and Domino co-wrote many songs that were hits, including "Ain't That a Shame", "I'm in Love Again" "Blue Monday" and "I'm Walkin'".

His "I Hear You Knocking" was a hit for Gale Storm in the 1950s, and Dave Edmunds in the 1970s; "One Night" and "Witchcraft" were both hits for Elvis Presley. Pat Boone's cover of "Ain't That a Shame," and Ricky Nelson's version of "I'm Walkin'" were top twenty hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Chuck Berry's only #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit was a cover of Bartholomew's "My Ding-a-Ling", although Berry substantially changed the arrangement and verses.

Bartholomew produced a series of memorable hits such as "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" with Lloyd Price; and "I Hear You Knocking" and "One Night (Of Sin)" with Smiley Lewis; plus "Let the Good Times Roll" with Shirley & Lee.

In 1991 Bartholomew was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer due to his role in producing early rhythm and blues songs.[5]


  1. ^ "Prairie Home Companion". PBS. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  2. ^ "Dave Bartholomew". Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  3. ^ Mike. "This Is It." Louisiana Weekly November 17, 1945: 6
  4. ^ a b "Dave Bartholomew – non-performer inductee". Rock Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  5. ^ Dave Bartholomew

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