Herbert Hardesty

When you think of sax players in Cosimo's studios, the names Red Tyler and Lee Allen automatically jump to mind. But who the hell is playing all the sax solos on Fats Domino's records like "I'm Walking", "Blue Monday", "Ain't That A Shame", and "Let the Four Winds Blow"? That masked man is New Orleans native Herb Hardesty. Starting with private lessons and then schooled at Dillard University, Herb started out working with Sidney Desvigne, Don Raymond, and Papa Celestin. Soon after he began working with Dave Bartholomew's band, Herb was drafted into Cosimo's studio crew. Recording with Bartholomew, Gatemouth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Jewel King, Tommy Ridgely, PeeWee Crayton, Smiley Lewis, the Spiders, and Lil Miss Cornshucks, Herb also toured with Roy Brown. However, Herb Hardesty will always be best known for his long association with Fats Domino: Since performing on Fats' debut, 1949's "The Fat Man," Hardesty has laid down great solos for Domino's records for more than half a century. Herb joined Fats' band full-time in the mid-1950s and has been touring ever since.

Herb has also made his own records for the Mercury and Federal labels- with tracks like "69 Mother's Place", "Perdido Street", and "Just a Little Bit Of Everything", his Federal sides represent some of the best smokin' R&B New Orleans has to offer. After extended periods with Fats' band in Las Vegas and Reno, Herb relocated to Vegas in 1970, where he lives and works to this day, occasionally playing with Dr. John as well.

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