THE ICON: Cosimo Matassa
THE LEGACY: What Cosimo Matassa wanted to do when he opened a tiny recording studio in the back of his record and appliance shop on North Rampart Street in 1945 was to make a little money. What he ended up making was history. Not only would Matassa’s J&M Studios record the first album by a kid named Fats Domino in 1949, it would also play host to a parade of notable artists eager to get their voices on wax. In the process, Matassa and his studio would be instrumental in introducing the influential “New Orleans sound” to the world, as well as serving as a launching pad for a then-budding music form that would soon be dubbed rock ‘n’ roll.
THE ARTIST: Jeremy Paten, WhereYart.net
THE INSPIRATION: “Cosimo was the doorway and window to the world for us musicians in New Orleans. An expert, with a lot of heart and soul. When the Beatles heard Fats Domino, they heard him via Cosimo Matassa. He touched the whole world.” — Allen Toussaint