About The Song
This is a heartache song about a breakup that was the other partner’s fault. Domino wrote it with Dave Bartholomew, who worked on most of Domino’s hits.
This was the first song to crossover from the R&B charts to the mostly white pop charts of the day. Like several other songs previously heard exclusively in black bars or nightclubs, it was covered by the crooning Pat Boone. Concerned about how educated, upper-class whites would respond to the title, he originally wanted it changed to “Isn’t That a Shame,” but the producers realized the original title would sell better and kept it.
Boone’s cover was a huge hit, going to #1 on the US Pop charts and reaching #7 in the UK. This gave Domino’s original recording a boost, and helped it cross over.
Like he did on “I’m Walking,” Domino made sure the beginning of this song was quite memorable, since if the hook comes right at the beginning, it’s more likely to be heard.
You may not know the lyrics, but you probably know how the song starts:
You made… (bomp bomp)
Me cry… (bomp bomp)
When you said… (bomp bomp)
Goodbye… (bomp bomp)
Ain’t that a shame
This was a favorite songwriting trick of Domino’s, as he looked for a good, simple section to start a song. And even though songs like this one were often attached to melancholy lyrics, it was the sound that Domino felt was important – if he could make it sound happy, it would evoke pleasant memories.
This was Fats Domino’s first hit song that was not recorded in New Orleans, where the singer lived. He recorded it on March 15, 1955 in a Hollywood studio when he was on tour in Los Angeles. Imperial Records had the engineers compress Fats’ vocals and speed up the song a bit to make the song sound less bluesy and give it more mainstream appeal. This also made it more difficult for other artists to cover the song.