In hindsight, Fats Domino was very wise in constructing a stage persona that never gets old: his roly-poly melodic charm was as fresh in the 80s as in his early 50s heyday. The same can’t be said for Lewis, whose stony-faced delivery and bludgeoning piano style didn’t wear well into middle age. When he lifts his foot to the keys for the obligatory solo it’s hard not to worry that it might just stay up there.
Fats rolls through seven snappy songs, Jerry Lee manages three, presenter/musical director Paul Schaffer gets one and Ray Charles pulls out two show-stoppers, I’ve Got A Woman and Drown In My Own Tears. Then the lot of them get together with the worryingly twitchy Ronnie Wood, climaxing with a rollicking Jambalaya.
The sound, presumably originally mixed for TV, isn’t great but fortunately avoids 80s production. The other downer is Jerry Lee: his gimmicks just can’t compete with Ray or Fats’ natural talents. But despite these drawbacks it’s great to see these titans together on stage. The bonus material features recollections of the show from the amiable Schaffer and rehearsal footage, including Ray Charles letting Schaffer know who’s really running the show.