David Fathead Newman
- Category : Entertain-Music-Instrumentalist
- Type : PE
- Profile : 6/3 - Role Model / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Spirit 1
American jazz saxophonist. His nickname "Fathead" stuck after his high school music teacher saw his music upside down on the stand, and knowing that Newman couldn't read music very well, walked over and tapped him on his head with the conductor's baton and called him "Fathead."
His professional career as a musician began in 1954 as a member of the Ray Charles Band. That year, Newman joined Charles in his band as the baritone saxophone player, thus beginning a twelve-year gig with Charles. He later joined Herbie Mann, with whom he played for another ten years.
Up to 2008, Newman recorded over thirty-eight albums under his own name, including his first, Fathead, Ray Charles Presents David 'Fathead' Newman, released in 1960, and the second, The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces, with James Clay, the following year.
Always a musicians' musician, Newman is best known for his hard bop style that has influenced generations of saxophone players of different genres. He also played R&B and blues, appearing on recordings with Stanley Turrentine, Aretha Franklin, B. B. King, the Average White Band, Jimmy McGriff, Eric Clapton and many more.
In Ray, the 2004 biographical film about Ray Charles, Newman was portrayed by Bokeem Woodbine.
On 20 January 2009, he died from complications of pancreatic cancer.