Label variants for “Blueberry Hill,” c. 1950s.


Recording R&B Hits



As R&B grew in popularity, record companies pushed for artists to record more material at a faster rate, so that the labels could take advantage of the genre’s widespread success. In the 1950s, Domino released at least four double-sided singles a year, and in many cases, both the A and B sides of the record would chart.


Wouter Keesing’s notes on Fats Domino recording session descriptions, undated.




Fats Domino’s cover of “Blueberry Hill” is the result of this hectic production environment. Thanks to the studio running out of tape, Domino never recorded a full take of the song (he only managed a few takes of the choruses and some of the verses), but because the other song recorded on that session, “Honey Chile,” needed a flipside, mastering engineer Bunny Robyn assembled the pieces of “Blueberry Hill” into a full song.


Sheet music for “Blueberry Hill,” c. 1960s.


Robyn's editing work is audible in the original pressing of “Blueberry Hill.” At around one minute into the song, Domino sings incorrect lyrics, saying, “all of those vows we made” instead of “all of those vows you made.” The track then has some distortion, likely caused by the editing process Robyn had to go through to complete the recording.


In spite of the rough process, “Blueberry Hill” went on to be one of Fats Domino's greatest hits. The record needed to go through several pressings to keep up with demand, and so the mistakes were edited out in the later copies. Imperial's print label changed over the years, and so the three different label variants for this record visually represent the song's lasting popularity.