Showman's Manual for “The Big Beat,” c. 1957.


Domino on the Big Screen

The popular music of the 1950s and 1960s was heard in an unprecedented number of formats. Fats Domino's music was available through the radio, television, records, sheet music, and jukeboxes. The number of media formats had drastically expanded since the beginning of the twentieth century.

In this era, movies became another avenue for musicians to reach listeners. A few rock ‘n’ rollers like Elvis Presley starred in films, such as the well-known Jailhouse Rock (1957). More often, artists like Little Richard and Carl Perkins appeared in a film to perform a song or two. Fats Domino appeared in a few films during this era, including The Big Beat (1958) and Jamboree! (1957).


The music and film helped to promote one another. Radio stations played the records and mentioned that the music was featured in the movies, and the movies themselves promoted sales of the artists who appeared in the movies. (A practice still in use today to a lesser degree).

Since that time, Domino's music has been included in the soundtracks of dozens of films, but during the height of R&B, musicians were presented both on the screen and in the music.



Fats Domino Picture Sleeve for “The Big Beat,” c.1957.

Fats Domino 45 RPM Single “The Big Beat,” 1957.