There is always a debate over who made the first rock and roll record, rock and roll is a sound that developed and mutated over a fairly lengthy period. It was constantly refined and added to, each city had it's own distinct rhythm and bands passing through might hear something from a local band and add it to their sound. There are a lot of records that came out in the late 40's and early 50's that point to a change, something new is happening and one of the records that signified that change was Fats Domino's The Fat Man. It was his first single and originally came out as a B Side to Detroit City Blues, it was recorded in December 1949 in New Orleans at Cosimo Matassa's J&M studio. It was released on Lew Chudd's Imperial label, Chudd had asked A&R legend Dave Bartholomew to recommend some local New Orleans talent for his label, and Fats Domino was signed after Chudd had seen him perform in a club.
The Fat Man is a variation of the New Orleans tune Junker Blues, it's a style that can also be heard on Lloyd Price's Lawdy Miss Clawdy. The song has a distinctive backbeat which was provided by the legendary drummer Earl Palmer, it also displays Domino's rolling piano style. It was a style that Domino would refine and capitalise on from 1955 until 1962 when he began to fade from the charts. The New Orleans sound has a unique place in rock and roll, it added a pervasive beat and horn arrangements that weren't normally featured in other R&B and early rock and roll records. The beat was not straight out 4/4 it had syncopations and twists and variations that other rock and roll records didn't have.
They call, they call me the fat man
Cause I weigh 200 pounds
All the girls they love me
Cause I know my way around