Festival honors Domino

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 2, 2006

FERRIDAY &8212; Antoine &8220;Fats&8221; Domino was too sick to appear at Saturday&8217;s Delta Music Festival, but that didn&8217;t mean he appreciated being honored any less.

&8220;I accept this honor with heartfelt appreciation,&8221; Domino said in a letter read at his induction into the Delta Music Museum&8217;s Hall of Fame.

&8220;No (honors) mean more to me than being honored by the people of my home state,&8221; said Domino, a Rock &8217;n&8217; Roll Hall of Famer whose hits included &8220;Ain&8217;t that a Shame&8221; and his rendition of &8220;Blueberry Hill.&8221;

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Domino&8217;s agent, Cleo Baker, accepted a plaque and certificate on behalf of the musician, a rock superstar of the 1950s.

With his induction, Domino joins such Delta Music Hall of Famers as Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, Aaron Neville, Jimmie Davis and Conway Twitty.

The Hall of Fame was started in 2003 as a way to honor musicians with roots in Louisiana. Each inductee is honored with an exhibit in the Delta Music Museum on Louisiana Avenue and a star in the Walk of Fame in front of the museum.

While Domino couldn&8217;t be there in person, hundreds of others made their way to the festival&8217;s Louisiana Avenue site to listen to several bands belt out tunes ranging from Cajun country to 1950s rock &8217;n&8217; roll. &8220;We&8217;re really pleased with the turnout,&8221; museum Director Judith Bingham said shortly before Domino&8217;s 1 p.m. induction. &8220;And we don&8217;t even get our biggest crowds until 1 or 2 in the afternoon.&8221;

Mayor Gene Allen praised the volunteers who put many hours each year into making the event happen.

&8220;Keep doing what you&8217;re doing,&8221; Allen said. &8220;I appreciate you bringing such a fine (event) to this community.&8221;