AUSTIN - Fats Domino, one of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll, passed away in his Louisiana home Wednesday morning.
He had a string of hits in the 1950s and 60s but made his mark in Austin in the early years of the "Austin City Limits" music television show.
But the 1987 episode of "Austin City Limits" featuring Fats Domino almost didn't happen.
"I managed to go talk my way into his room while he was having Sunday brunch," said Terry Lickona.
Then producer, now executive produce, Lickona had Fats Domino on his ACL wishlist from his first day on the job eight years earlier.
"I told him that Jerry Lee Lewis had done the show, and Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison and a lot of his peers from the early days of rock 'n' roll and he said, 'Yeah alright, I'll come and do it.'"
Three weeks later, Domino made magic on the downtown Austin stage.
The appearance happened over 30 years after Antoine "Fats" Domino broke on to the scene from his native New Orleans.
"It was one of those timeless shows where it will just live forever," added Lickona.
Domino sold more than 110 million records.
His 22 million-selling singles included "Blueberry Hill," and "Ain't That a Shame."
Wednesday night, ACL inducted Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and the Neville brothers into their Hall of Fame, but not without a tribute to a man Lickona calls a pioneer of rock 'n' roll.
"When we all heard the news this morning that Fats had passed, our hearts were broken," Lickona said. "And it brought back a flood of memories and we just decided we had to do something."
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