The pop hit parade was seldom without at least one Fats Domino platter from 1955 into the early '60s (much to the pleasure of Imperial Records boss Lew Chudd). In conjunction with his producer/arranger/trumpeter/co-composer Dave Bartholomew, Domino enjoyed a nonstop string of smashes dating back to 1950 on the R&B charts (kicked off by "The Fat Man"), and once white teens picked up on the non-threatening, rotund Crescent City piano man with the rollicking band, Domino was suddenly a rock & roll star of the first magnitude. "Ain't It a Shame" was the tune that propelled him into the pop arena once and for all; not appreciably different from a number of other waxings from the same timeframe by the Creole-inflected pianist, its stop-time breaks, a strong mid-tempo rhythm, and a hearty tenor sax break by longtime bandsman Herb Hardesty framed Domino in precisely the correct manner to entice a new demographical influx. Ironically, the track wasn't laid down at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studio in New Orleans, where Bartholomew traditionally held court, but out in Hollywood at Master Recorders (the same site where Domino would cut "Blueberry Hill" the next year) on March 15, 1955. The number sailed up to the top of the R&B charts and cracked the pop Top Ten that summer -- the latter a particularly sterling achievement, since that great scourge of legit R&B, Pat Boone, purloined "Ain't It a Shame," his bleached-out cover for Randy Wood's Dot Records vaulting to the peak of the pop charts at the same time under the grammatically correct title of "Ain't That a Shame." Good-natured Domino took it all in stride; he knew this was just the beginning.