John Lennon recorded a version of Fats Domino’s 1955 classic ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ for Rock ‘N’ Roll, his 1975 collection of golden oldies.
‘Ain’t That A Shame’ was written by Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Domino recorded it in New Orleans in 1955, and the song became famous after it was recorded by Pat Boone.
The song was one of the first Lennon learnt to play, and he and Paul McCartney often jammed it together during the Quarrymen days. In the United Kingdom it was a hit four times: once for Domino, twice for Boone, and once for The Four Seasons.
‘Ain’t That A Shame’ was the first rock ‘n’ roll song I ever learned. My mother taught it to me on the banjo before I learned the guitar. Nobody else knows these reasons except me.
During a studio jam session in March 1974, later bootlegged as A Toot And A Snore In ’74, Lennon was heard to mutter: “I’ve done ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ at twenty studios in these sessions.” The jam took place at Record Plant West in Los Angeles, and was the last time Lennon and McCartney – playing piano and drums respectively – were in the studio together. Owing to Lennon’s lack of enthusiasm they didn’t perform Domino’s song, but did play several 1950s classics.
‘Ain’t That A Shame’ had been performed by Lennon and Elephant’s Memory during the Some Time In New York City sessions, and it is likely he performed it during the Phil Spector-produced sessions for Rock ‘N’ Roll. However, the version on the album was produced by Lennon himself in October 1974.
Lennon’s recording was to have been issued as a single, with ‘Slippin’ And Slidin” as its b-side. Promotional copies were sent to radio stations. However, it was withdrawn everywhere except Mexico shortly before the release date.