Many know that Fats Domino rode out Hurricane Katrina in the 9th Ward, where the 2005 storm did some of its worst damage. His family and agent had reported him missing and learned days later that he had survived when they saw a photo in the Times-Picayune that showed him stepping off a rescuer’s boat.
Domino, who has been back to see the 9th Ward, said he had no doubt he would eventually return for good. Workers are rebuilding his home, which is expected to be restored by summer.
The singer is being helped by the Tipitina’s Foundation.
“This is not about just getting one guy back in his house. It really is symbolic of this city coming back,” said Bill Taylor, the director of the foundation, which is paying to repair the home Domino has lived in for decades. “There is hope down here now.”
Tipitina’s, which helped scores of musicians after the storm find housing and new instruments, will spend upward of $100,000 restoring Domino’s home.
The organisation is being helped by the likes of Elton, Robert Plant, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and B.B. King, who are recording a compilation of Domino’s songs to benefit the foundation. Roughly 25 percent of the proceeds will go toward Domino’s home, Taylor said.
Elton has already finished his contribution–a new version of Blueberry Hill.
Fourteen tracks are planned, and should include the late John Lennon as well.