Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pete Fountain Birthday News - Memorabilia


In the 1960s famed Dixieland jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain always closed his New Orleans club around the Independence Day holiday in order to celebrate his birthday on July 3. He and his wife, Beverly Lang Fountain, are shown here on one such excursion, outside the Broadwater Beach Hotel in Biloxi. The couple married in October 1951. Their son, Kevin Fountain, who submitted the photo, says he believes it was taken around 1965.

Fountain was first mentioned in The Times-Picayune on March 4, 1948, when police reported the theft of two of his instruments, worth $250, from Warren Easton High School.

The following February his photo was featured in a Werlein's ad congratulating his Junior Dixie Land Jamboree Band for winning on the Horace Heidt Youth Opportunity Program, a national radio talent show which was a precursor to American Idol.

John Kelly, The Times-Picayune Les Causeries du Lundi elected officers for the 1962-63 season Monday (May 14) at a gathering at Gallier Hall. Installed for the coming year are (from left, seated): Mrs. Frank B. Delery, president; Mrs. Lilian Lewis, first vice-president; and Miss Gladys Anne Renshaw, second vice-president; (standing) Miss Adele Drouet, reception chairman; Mrs. Richard Massie Martin, treasurer; and Mrs. Paul Perret, program chairman. May 16, 1962

After evacuating for Hurricane Katrina, Fountain is back living in New Orleans, but his son reports he has been in East Jefferson General Hospital for the past three weeks. All his fans wish him well today on his 81st birthday.


Courtesy of John Kelly, The Times-Picayune NOLA.com
John Kelly can be reached a jkelly@timespicayune.com.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you know of any upcoming Pete Fountain appearances that will be open to the public?

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Rich said...

David-

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing all this information.

Can you answer a question?

I'm a jazz fan (obviously!). I play a little clarinet myself, and my grandfather introduced me to Pete Fountain when I was in high school.

So I buy a lot of Pete's albums at Aomeba Music in Hollywood, so I've amassed a great deal of them.

The man must have recorded 80 or more albums, releasing up to four a year. Now my friends and I are kinda music snobs- one of them has a music degree. And all of us are wondering (drum roll...)...

Who bought all these albums!??!? I mean, they're really well produced and arranged by Bud Dant, and there's a lot of good ones in the stack, but at four or so a year, how did they move so much product?

I don't mean to sound facetious. I'm really curious what Coral's business model was and how/where these were sold. They must have made money, or they wouldn't have made so many.

So there you have it.

Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge here.

Best,
Rich

Anonymous said...

Pete Fountain is absolutely the finest clarinet player on the planet. Has been for years & his sound brings me to tears!! Oh, what a talent. I saw him about 40 years ago, he has only gotten better!!

Roger said...

I've been a devoted fan of Pete since I first saw him on the Lawrence Welk show in 1959, I believe. I played clarinet in high school, and 60 years later I still fool around with it on occasion. I've seen Pete play a number of times, first at his Bourbon Street club, and later at the Hilton. After one performance my wife and I lingered at the album sales area, and were fortunate enough to meet Pete and his wife. We chatted for quite a while. He is a genuinely nice person, and we are devastated that we couldn't find him this week while we were in New Orleans.

Thanks for this excellent blog. I'll be a regular reader. And we wish Pete the very best.

Anonymous said...

Need help if you please. I am a canadian who inheritted 2 huge pictures framed and matted and numbered and autographed one c alled JUS PETE BABY, a colorful picture of pete playing 1994 jazz fest created by george thomas. and half fast walking club autographed and created by an artist called brad thompson. Who would be interested in purchasing these items? where would I go