Saturday, March 31, 2007

Both Sides Now - Coral Records

Both Sides Now



1968 Coral Records CRL 757507 Stereo / CRL 57507 Mono

PETE'S "JAZZ" SIDE
Side One
1. Both Sides Now
2. Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay
3. Let It Be Me
4. The Spinning Wheel
5. Traces
6. In The Year 2025

PETE'S BAND
Side Two
1. A Closer Walk
2. Cajun Blues
3. Shine
4. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans

Liner Notes:

Pete's Band:
Eddie Miller - Tenor Sax
Nick Fatool - Drums
Earl Vuiovich - Piano
Oliver "Stick" Felix - Bass
Connie Jones - Trumpet
Mike Serpas - Trumpet
Jack Delaney - Trombone and Vocal
Leo Fogel - Trombone

Arranged and Produced by Charles Bud Dant

Make Your Own Kind of Music - Coral Records

Make Your Own Kind of Music



1969 Coral CRL 757510 Stereo / CRL 57510 Mono

Side One
1. Early In The Morning
2. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head (From The Picture "Butch Cassidy And The Sun Dance Kid")
3. Shangri-La
4. New Orleans Breakdown
5. Jean (From The 20th Century-Fox Film The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie)
6. Holly Holy

Side Two
1. Make Your Own Kind Of Music
2. Midnight Cowboy (From The United Artists Motion Picture "Midnight Cowboy")
3. Can't Take My Eyes Off You
4. Lady-O
5. Leaving On A Jet Plane


Only 4 clarinets, too commercial, not enough substance. I like the album cover...

Liner Notes:


Make Your Own Kind of Music
Pete Fountain

Arranged And Produced By Charles Bud Dant
Cover Photo: Mike Nagro
Wardrobe By Suzy Creamcheese, Las Vegas

My kind of music? I dig it all - if it's honest. Most of all, I'd rather play music with a good feeling of "time" (that's a beat!). You know, even a beautiful ballad like Can't Take My Eyes Off You or Lady-O by the remarkable Turtles has great time.

But I really enjoyed playing my own kind of music on the title tune, Mama Cass' Make Your Own Kind Of Music, Peter, Paul and Mary's Leaving On A Jet Plane (even though I hate to fly) and Vanity Fare's Early In The Morning. The beat on those three is really down home... New Orleans. And I can't overlook a great song like Shangri-La that my man, Eddie Miller, wraps his tenor around in a very special way.

I also dig the songs of Bacharach and David and their newest hit, Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, is one that I wanted to include in this set, along with Neil Diamond's haunting Holly Holy and that sensational theme from a sensational movie, Midnight Cowboy. Also, Rod McKuen's endearing Jean from "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie:' And there's an original tune that made me happy, New Orleans Breakdown, which is what my kind of music is all about.

You can thank Bud Dant for some of the best arrangements that could ever happen to any song - which I do, myself, whenever I record. You'd better believe he's tops!
So, friends, while you're making your own kind of music, I hope you enjoy mine.

From New Orleans with love,
Pete

Friday, March 30, 2007

Pete Fountain's Golden Favorites - Coral Records

Pete Fountain's Golden Favorites



1970 Coral Records CRL 757511 Stereo / CRL 57511 Mono

Side One
1. Whipped Cream*
2. You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You**
3. A Taste Of Honey**
4. Stranger On The Shore*
5. Spanish Eyes**

Side Two
1. Hello, Dolly!**
2. Petite Fleur*
3. Licorice Stick**
4. Those Were The Days*
5. Strangers In The Night**
6. Bourbon Street Parade*

*Clarinet solo with instrumental accompaniment
**Clarinet solo with orchestra and chorus
Produced By Charles Bud Dant

Liner Notes:

When Pete Fountain picks a bunch of golden favorites, he puts together a beautifully-rounded program of some of the top hits of recent years. And he keeps the lovely liquid sound of his clarinet right out there in front, where you've insisted that it be all along.

Pete has built his tremendous reputation and his huge following by exactly that simpleformula: great songs, with the Fountain clarinet singing the melody and improvising on it as only Pete can do.

This is what won him fame in the jazz field when he first cracked into the scene as one of the most exciting clarinet players ever to come north from New Orleans. This is what spelled success when he sat in the clarinet chair of the Lawrence Welk band and thrilled audiences from coast to coast every week on the Welk TV show. This is
precisely the formula that has given Pete Coral album after Coral album of sheer listening pleasure. And, the business end of the business might add, some pretty healthy sales, too.

It may even be why you are holding this album in your hands and reading these very words. You know what you want. So does Pete Fountain.

And here it is. Whipped Cream, which was the title tune in that first best-selling album by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The setting and the sound are much different here, of course. And the clarinet...well, that's why you're here, isn't it?

A Taste Of Honey is another salute to Mr. Alpert, one of several artists who have had a hit with this lovely Bobby Scott melody. Pete plays it so beautifully, you can hear the words in your mind as you listen.

Being a clarinetist, Mr. F. has naturally chosen several clarinet showcases. How about Mr. Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore, which Pete makes moving and poignant, yet bright and exciting, too? Or listen to Sidney Bechet's lovely melody, Petite Fleur, which was a monster hit for Chris Barber some ten years ago.

Pete seems to flow around the pretty, fragile melody of the song. And, of course, there's the song that salutes his axe...Licorice Stick. No need to describe what Pete does with that!

It happens on every band, song after song. There's a swinging salute to Louis Armstrong and Barbra Streisand and Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey... perhaps even David Merrick, himself, in Pete's swinging version of Hello, Dolly! and there's a rousing look into Pete's native New Orleans and the music he knows and blows so well with Bourbon Street Parade.

Pick your favorite.... Is it the perennial show-closer, You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You? Or the Bert Kaempfert tune that Frank Sinatra dooby-dooed to the top, Strangers In The Night? Or the Kurt Weill-ish feeling song that Mary Napkin exploded onto our scene... Those Were The Days? Or, perhaps, the Al Martino smash, Spanish Eyes?

You name it and you've got it. Done in the silvery, silky, beautifully smooth style of the leading clarinetist on the scene today. Here's your clue: his last name rhymes with "mountain"!

Coral Stereo Records Can Be Safely Played On Today's Monaural Phonographs To The Maximum Sound Capabilities Of Your Equipment Yet Will Reveal Full Stereo Listening Quality When Played On Stereo Phonographs.

CORAL RECORDS, A Subsidiary of MCA Inc., New York, N. Y. USA

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dr. Fountain's Magical Licorice Stick Remedy For The Blues - Coral Records

Dr. Fountain's Magical Licorice Stick Remedy For The Blues



1970 Coral Records CRL 757513 Stereo / 57513 Mono

Side 1
1. Doctor Fountain's Magical Licorice Stick Remedy For The Blues
2. Mississippi
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water
4. Licorice Stick Rag
5. Somewhere
6. Sulpher And Molasses

Side 2
1. Everything Is Beautiful
2. I'm In Love With New Orleans
3. Applause
4. Passport To The Future
5. Hey Mr. Sun


Liner Notes:

DR. FOUNTAINS'S MAGICAL LICORICE STICK REMEDY FOR THE BLUES

A remarkable formula developed by Dr. Fountain, which combines the heart of the rare licorice stick in a mixture guaranteed to cure the ague, stop the shakes, revoke the rattles, dismiss warts and other peculiar skin eruptions, banish freckles, stop cranky backs from aching, and have a definitely salutary effect on hangnails, fever blisters, and the gout.

This patented remedy must be taken internally. If rubbed on or merely inhaled, it will not have a lasting effect. It must get in-side you !

Give it a chance, and it will.

No longer will you suffer from dyspepsia, sciatica, migraine headache, dilated nostrils, furrowed brows, loss of breath and/or cankers of the cheek and tongue. Forget forever the fidgety feet, quivering fingers, sweating palms, stiff elbows, bowed legs or knocked knees. Kiss your truss goodbye!

Dr. Fountain, who has spent a bearded lifetime among the friendly savages in the mystical city of New Orleans, has learned all their magical secrets and has mixed them into this healing, heady brew.

WARNING! MAY BE HABIT-FORMING!

Take in large doses at least once a day for a week.

Something Misty - Coral Records

Something Misty



1970 Coral Records CRL 757516 Stereo / CRL 57516 Mono


Side One
1. We've Only Just Begun
2. Sunny
3. Something
4. (They Long To Be) Close To You
5. Selections From "Jesus Christ-Superstar" A) I Don't Know How To Love Him B) Everything's Alright C) Superstar

Side Two
1. Misty
2. What Have They Done To My Song Ma
3. The Impossible Dream (From The Musical Play "Man Of La Mancha")
4. Here, There And Everywhere
5. Green, Green Grass Of Home
6. Blues In A Mist


Liner Notes:

Arranged and Produced by Charles Bud Dant
Engineers: Jim Williamson
Bradley's Barn Nashville, Tennessee

Terry Brown and Brian Ingoldsby
MCA Universal City, Hollywood

Play something misty for me, Pete...

Make it soft and dark and romantic as only you can. So that the song seems alive, and bright and new.

Like "Misty," Pete. That one's been played by every-body every way except, possibly, as a march. Play "Misty" for me, Pete, and do your thing to it so that even Erroll Garner, who wrote it and who plays it every day of his life, will chortle with delight at what you've found in it that no one else has discovered yet.

Or play "Something," which the Beatles gave us, and speak to the young as well as you speak to your fans who first knew you as a Dixieland clarinetist with the Junior Dixieland Jazz Band in 1948. You've come a long rich musical way since then, and you've brought us along with you.

Play "I Don't Know How To Love Him," and make it every bit an experience as the long work from which it comes - "Jesus Christ, Superstar."

Play "What Have They Done To My Song Ma," and communicate beyond the gap that separates the generations.

Or play "Green, Green Grass Of Home," and we'll all walk along with you.

Play it all, Pete, and let it all happen. Rarely has the clarinet captured the wide range of beauty in the ballad as yours has. And every time, Pete. You do it every time.

Play something misty over the veil of strings and voices and we'll all have a taste of beauty.

Play for your listeners all over the world. Even in the White House, U.S.A. You have one fan there who wrote recently, "I was delighted to see you, and as I mentioned, we will have to talk you into coming to the White House at some time in the near future. There is more than one Pete Fountain fan in the Nixon family, and the records you so thoughtfully brought for me will be not only mementos of a wonderful welcome but also, I hope, tokens of another opportunity to enjoy your company and your music."

Play it for him, Pete, and for the rest of your fans, too. Play something misty...

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Best Of Pete Fountain - Coral Records

The Best Of Pete Fountain


Inside 4 Page Booklet



1970 Coral Records 7CXSB 10 Stereo Deluxe 2 Record Set

Side 1:
1. While We Danced At The Mardi Gras
2. A Closer Walk
3. Columbus Stockade Blues
4. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
5. Fascination Medley: a) Fascination b) Basin Street Blues c) Tin Roof Blues d) Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
6. China Boy (Go To Sleep)

Side 2:
1. When The Saints Come Marching In March
2. St. Louis Blues
3. When My Baby Smiles At Me
4. Shrimp Boats
5. Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)

Side 3:
1. Bye Bye Bill Bailey
2. Lazy River
3. Yes Indeed
4. High Society
5. Stranger On The Shore
6. Over The Waves

Side 4:
1. Oh, Lady Be Good
2. You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You
3. My Blue Heaven
4. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
5. For Pete's Sake Side 1

Liner Notes:

New Orleans, where Pete Fountain was born and bred, is unique in the United States. It has a colorful history, and it has always affectionately preserved its French heritage, but what makes it a kind of Mecca to people all over the world is the fact that no other city has such strong claims to being the birthplace of jazz.

The origins of jazz have been the subject of many ingenious theories and many intriguing legends, but there is no doubt that New Orleans always possessed an unusually rich musical culture. A cosmopolitan port. it was the meeting place of several different idioms that fused to give the twentieth century its most significant and appropriate music.

In the scaled-down instrumentation which New Orleans jazz musicians adapted from the familiar brass bands. the clarinet had a vital role, and it was from this role that the main emphasis on improvisation in jazz developed. In the traditional ensemble. the clarinet had more freedom than any of the other instruments. The responsibilities of the trumpet and trombone, for example. were firmly defined, but above and around them the clarinet was free to embellish and improvise. In exercising this prerogative, the New Orleans clarinetists attained a supremacy that was not challenged for many years. They also developed a recognizable style and, in several cases. remarkable virtuosity.

The honor roll of names is long, and such clarinetists as Jimmie Noone, Sidney Bechet, Larry Shields, Alphonse Picou, Sidney Arodin, Leon Roppolo, Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds, Omer Simeon, Irving Fazola and Albert Nicholas, not forgetting the great teacher, Lorenzo Tio, Jr., wrote a glorious page in jazz history. Others, like Buster Bailey of Memphis and Darnell Howard of Chicago, assimilated the essential characteristics of the New Orleans style, which was subsequently modified by Benny Goodman and others.

At a time when the clarinet has tended to wane in popularity, it is noteworthy that New Orleans remains a clarinet town. The sound of the instrument wails out of club after club every night of the week on Bourbon Street, and not least from that flourishing establishment, Pete Fountain's French Quarter Inn.

That the clarinet tradition has survived so strongly in New Orleans is not due to insularity on the part of its musicians. They, after all, were among the first to disseminate the jazz message, traveling extensively throughout the world after World War I, as many have continued to do ever since. They proved adaptable to changing conditions and contexts, while always retaining an identifiable spirit in their playing. Today, they are affected by the same pressures, competition and radio programming as musicians of other cities, but the attitude of their audiences is decidedly different. In the Crescent City, music, particularly jazz, is associated with a good time. The inexplicable longueurs and aberrations that are inflicted on per-missive listeners in jazz clubs elsewhere are seldom tolerated there.

The recordings in this set reflect that attitude, and render Pete Fountain's popularity easily understand-able. His music is indeed musicianly, but it is not pretentious. Nor is it ever presented as a mystery or a misery. The moods and tempos vary, but the spirit of enjoyment is fundamental.

Pierre Dewey La Fontaine, Jr., was born in 1930. In due course, finding a need for a more concise name, he became Pete Fountain. His father had played several instruments as an avocation, and he encouraged his son's interest in music. Before he entered his teens, Pete had begun to study clarinet at Johnny Wiggs's State Band School of Music. He showed such natural instinct and aptitude for the instrument that in a very short time he was far ahead of the other pupils. He further developed his style and technique in the time-honored jazz fashion by "sitting in" and "jamming" with bands on Bourbon Street. He studied the work of such prominent jazzmen as Eddie Miller, Charlie Teagarden, Bobby Hackett and Ray Bauduc, and most particularly that of his idol, clarinetist Irving Fazola.

His first professional date came when he was 16,when Fazola died. He took Fazola's chair in a French Quarter band, and the blues tributes he blew for his friend and teacher that night were the making of yet another legend.

In 1948, when he had completed his schooling, he joined the Junior Dixieland Band, which won a talent contest and toured the United States. His reputation was growing apace, and after playing in Phil Zito's Dixieland Band, he helped form the Basin Street Six in 1950. This combination played in New Orleans and the area around for three years. He next joined the Dukes of Dixieland and went to Chicago for several months, but he returned home when the group set out on a national tour. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans is a song with a title of more than ordinary significance to the native son.

There followed a brief hiatus in his musical career when he joined the "day people" in a 9-to-5 job. This move was primarily made because the musician's life separated him from his wife, Beverly, whom he had married in 1950. Music continued to call, however, and after their first child was born he organized a band for an engagement at Dan's Pier 600 on Bourbon Street, where, with the aid of several successful records, his reputation resumed its interrupted expansion.

In the summer of 1956, Pete scored a tremendous success at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, which led to an invitation from Lawrence Welk to make guest appearances on TV. The offer he subsequently accepted for two weeks turned into an engagement lasting two years! The response of home viewers was phenomenal, but eventually the urge to play his own way became too strong.

"I guess champagne and bourbon just don't mix," he said. "Don't get me wrong - Welk is a wonderful man and his TV show did plenty for me. But I just couldn't play the kind of music I wanted to."

Back in New Orleans, he obtained an interest in his friend Dan Levy's Bateau Lounge on the street he loves best - Bourbon Street. Soon he had his own well-appointed and successful club, the French Quarter Inn, and in due course he became the owner of a 35-acre ranch a half-hour outside the city.

Happy to live his life in New Orleans, which he leaves somewhat reluctantly for concert and TV appearances, Pete has done much to secure recognition - and an aura of "respectability" - for jazz. It was always supported by the masses, but he succeeded in winning over the city's social, cultural and business leaders as well. When Pete Fountain Day was eventually proclaimed in New Orleans, the festivities concluded with a torch-light parade and concert.

In 1968, with Mayor Schiro's blessing and backing, the city put on its first full-scale jazz festival. Theweek-long "jazzfest" began with a Mass for deceased jazz musicians in St. Louis Cathedral. Then the bands marched through the streets, played to 2500 people on the riverboat President, and performed before enormous audiences in the Municipal Auditorium.

Jazz had come full circle. The parent style was well represented by local musicians, prominent among whom were Pete Fountain and his enlarged band from the French Quarter Inn. There, too, were the "children" from overseas, and the famous bands of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Woody Herman (each with its clarinet player), which had re-translated and expanded upon the gospel the first disciples took out of the city four decades before.

This collection of recordings, made between 1959 and 1967, illustrates many facets of Pete Fountain's musical personality. As he told writer Burt Korall, he seeks "to combine Fazola's mellow sound with Benny Good-man's drive," and these qualities are evident as he plays in the many different contexts devised for him by producer Charles Bud Dant.

On half the titles, he is heard as soloist with a rhythm section that is occasionally supplemented by Godfrey Hirsch's skillful vibes playing. While this affords him maximum freedom, it also charges him with maximum responsibility. Just how adroitly he walks the tightrope between them is happily audible on such classics of the New Orleans repertoire as When The Saints Come Marching In March, A Closer Walk, While We Danced At The Mardi Gras and Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans.

Other performances like Columbus Stockade Blues and St. Louis Blues find him in front of a band and arrangements that recall those of Bob Crosby, with whom Irving Fazola made his name internationally famous. Heinie Beau's arrangement of Over The Waves, with its knowing use of tuba and four drummers, recreates the sound of the parade bands that are such a feature of New Orleans life. Sy Oliver's famous Yes Indeed becomes a neat essay in gospelry as Pete's clarinet is answered by a 14-piece choir. In between an excursion to Nashville for You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You, and to Hamburg for Bert Kaempfert's For Pete's Sake, there are a whole lot of evergreen jazz standards. And by way of salutes to other clarinetists, there are Lazy River (for Sidney Arodin), When My Baby Smiles At Me (for Ted Lewis), High Society (for Alphonse Picou), and Stranger On The Shore (for Acker Bilk).

The clarinet is one of the hardest instruments to play, but when the inevitable campaign to "bring back the clarinet" begins, it will be well to remember that it has never been out of favor in New Orleans - in Pete's Place.

- STANLEY DANCE
____________________________________________

PETE'S ACCOMPANISTS
(A) Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 16 February, 1959.
(B) As above. 17 February, 1959.
(C) As above. 24 February, 1959.
(D) Shorty Sherock, Conrad Gozzo, Arthur Depew, Manny Klein, trumpets; Moe Schneider, Bill Schaefer, Harold Diner, Peter Lofthouse, trombones; Jack Dumont, Eddie Miller, Russell Cheever, Babe Russin, William Ulyate, reeds; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Marty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 10 March, 1959.
(E) Manny Klein, Jack Coon, Arthur Depew, Conrad Gozzo, trumpets; Moe Schneider, Bill Schaefer, Harold Diner, Peter Lofthouse, trombones; Wilbur Schwartz, Eddie Miller, Matty Matlock, Babe Russin, Charles Gentry, reeds; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 11 March, 1959.
(F) Godfrey Hirsch, vibes; Merle Koch, piano; Donald Bagley, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 26 October, 1959.
(G) Conrad Gozzo, Art Depew, Johnny Best, George Thow, trumpets; Moe Schneider, Bill Schaefer, Joe Howard, Peter Lofthouse, trombones; Wilbur Schwartz, Plas Johnson, Babe Russin, Eddie Miller, Charles Gentry, reeds; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 8 April, 1960.
(H) Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 9 August, 1960.
(I) As (H), plus Godfrey Hirsch, vibes. 17 August, 1960.
(J) Stan Wrightsman, piano; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 30 June, 1961.
(K) Godfrey Hirsch, vibes; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums; and 14-voice mixed chorus. 9 September, 1961.
(L) Charlie Teagarden, trumpet; Moe Schneider, trombone; Eddie Miller, tenor saxophone; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 9 November, 1961.
(M) Godfrey Hirsch, vibes; John Probst, piano; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 6 September, 1962.
(N) Richard Noel, Lew McCreary, Bill Schaefer, George Roberts, Moe Schneider, trombones; Jack Coon, trumpet; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Phil Stephens, tuba; Jack Sperling, Paul Barbarin, Nick Fatool, Godfrey Hirsch, drums. 23 March, 1963.
(0) Jack Coon, trumpet; Moe Schneider, trombone; John Probst, piano; Bobby Gibbons, guitar; Morty Corb, bass; Phil Stephens, tuba; Jack Sperling, Paul Barbarin, Nick Fatool, Godfrey Hirsch, drums. 23 March, 1963.
(P) Godfrey Hirsch, vibes; Earl Vuiovich, piano; Paul Guma, guitar; Oliver Felix, bass; Nick Fatool, Paul Edwards, drums. 8 February, 1964.
(Q) Boots Randolph, alto saxophone; Floyd Cramer, piano; Bob Moore, bass; Harold Bradley, Ray Edenton, guitars; Paul Edwards, drums; and The Jordanaires. 17 October, 1964.
(R) Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass; Jack Sperling, drums. 30 August, 1966.
(S) Orchestra with vocal sextet, arranged by Herbert Rehbein. 10 October,1967.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Orleans, Tennessee - Coral Records

New Orleans, Tennessee




Below are the Inside Covers



1971 Coral Records CRL 757517 Stereo / CRL 57517 Mono



Side One
1. Night Train To Memphis
2. Help Me Make It Through The Night
3. San Antonio Rose
4. Rose Garden
5. Crazy
6. The Drum

Side Two
1. Just Because
2. New Orleans, Tennessee
3. I Can't Stop Loving You
4. Sunday In The Country
5. Walking The Floor Over You


Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain NEW ORLEANS, TENNESSEE
Produced By Charles "Bud" Dant

Pete Fountain, the jazz clarinetist, was born and raised in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. As a young boy, Pete spent much of his time 'sitting in' with the great players of the times, as well as riding on his daddy's Dixie Beer truck and fishing. His musical idol was Irving Fazzola, the bayou country's greatest clarinet player. Pete dug every note Fazz played and it was only natural that he would inherit the crown.

NEW ORLEANS, TENNESSEE is Pete's dream town. You see, Pete is basically a country boy at heart and, although he is endowed with the great gift of jazz music, he also has a feel and yearning for the "blue grass" country, its people and their music.

So, his dream town is probably located somewhere near Nashville, Tennessee...in a small county, just far enough away from the big city, where the "livin' is easy, and the fish are jumpin'."

Read the list of titles and listen to Pete sing "Sunday In The Country" (his first vocal on an album) and you'll understand a lot about Pete's dream town. These are definitely songs to warm the heart of any country music fan. And when you hear the way our Crown Prince of Jazz plays them, along with the wonderful Nashville 'pickers,' you'll find yourself sittin' by the cracker barrel at the NEW ORLEANS, TENNESSEE country store, tappin' your foot on the red-hot, pot-bellied stove. Listen!

CHARLES BUD DANT

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Double Star Series Featuring Bert Kaempfert And Pete Fountain - MCA Records

Double Star Series
Featuring Bert Kaempfert / Pete Fountain



1967 - MCA Double Star Series DL 734698 Stereo

Bert Kaempfert
Side One
1. Spanish Eyes
2. Danke Schoen
3. Lonely Is The Name
4. Just As Much As Ever
5. My Love For You

Pete Fountain
Side Two
1. Thoroughly Modern Millie
2. The Eyes Of Love
3. A Taste Of Honey
4. The Sound Of Music
5. South Rampart Street Parade

Liner Notes:

Double Star Series Featuring Bert Kaempfert / Pete Fountain
Limited Edition Collector's Album

The big band "era" may have passed, as they say, but big bands, great bands, are still very much in evidence, providing the kind of danceable, uniquely listenable and exciting sounds that no other type of musical group can create.

Bert Kaempfert is unquestionably one of today's leading exponents of the popular orchestral sound, instilling such beautiful melodies as "Spanish Eyes," "Danke Schoen," "Lonely Is The Name," "Just As Much As Ever" and "My Love For You" with a heartening abundance of imaginative and vibrant color.

Pete Fountain, who spent two years as one of the outstanding features of Lawrence Welk's TV show, and who subsequently enjoyed unprecedented success as a jazz clarinet soloist, perhaps outdoes all former accomplishments with these irresistibly swinging arrangements of such favorites as "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "The Eyes Of Love," "A Taste Of Honey," "The Sound Of Music" and "South Rampart Street Parade."

Friday, March 23, 2007

Zenith Presents Pete Fountain and The Dukes of Dixieland - MCA Records

Zenith Presents
Pete Fountain / The Dukes of Dixieland



1972 Zenith Records (MCA Records Special Products) SYS-5506 Stereo

Side One:
Pete Fountain
1. Lonesome Road
2. Sweethearts On Parade
3. Wabash Blues
4. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
5. Beale Street Blues

Side Two:
The Dukes of Dixieland
1. King Of The Road
2. Whispering
3. Alexander's Ragtime Band
4. Someday You'll Be Sorry
5. Clarinet Marmalade


Liner Notes:

Encore Vol. VII Great Artists Of Our Time
Zenith Presents Pete Fountain and The Dukes of Dixieland

MCA Special Products. Part of the Encore series box set offered by Zenith in the early 1970's. Nice sexy cheesecake cover!

Pete Fountain:
New Orleans, the home of jazz, is also the home of Pete Fountain. As a young clarinetist in his high-school band, Pete was captivate( by the jazz traditions of bygone days and vowed to bring back the glory of Dixieland. His early work attracted the attention of Lawrence Welk, who hired the young musician to lead a Dixieland unit on the Welk television program.

Later, Pete bought his own New Orleans nightclub, formed his own combo and soon was putting out best-selling albums. The Fountain clarinet work has been compared favorably to the style of the master of that instrument - Benny Goodman... but to write Pete off as an imitator would be doing him a gross injustice. Pete Fountain plays his clarinet with a flair that does honor to a great musical instrument. And he leads his group in a manner that is a tribute to jazz itself.

Jazz is dead? Nonsense! It's alive and well in New Orleans... and Pete Fountain is keeping it going!

The Dukes of Dixieland:
One of the great latter-day jazz combos, the Dukes started out in New Orleans. They were known as the Basin Street Five when they were discovered by Horace Heidt, and the oldest group member was 18. A successful tour with the Heidt organization netted them a series of nightclub bookings on their return to New Orleans .. . and the Dukes were on their way up.

Dixieland buffs created a demand for records by the Dukes and launched the group into a recording series that has been extremely rewarding. The Dukes have a youthful, driving style that distinguishes their brand of Dixieland jazz from their contemporaries. There is a spontaneous exuberance that characterizes the performance of the Dixieland Dukes, and it can be best described as energetic and electric.

In spite of the controversy that has always existed between New Orleans and Chicago jazz, the New Orleans-based Dukes have a large following in the Windy City. Nightspot operators in Chicago know that when they put up the sign, "The Dukes of Dixieland: Appearing Nightly," they'll be packing in the crowds. The Dukes are sure-fire crowd pleasers!

Liner notes - Al Schneider

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pete Fountain's New Orleans - MCA Records

Pete Fountain's New Orleans



1972 MCA Records MCA-505 Stereo

Selections Contained In This Album Previously Released On Coral Records, Crl-757282, Under The Same Title.

Side One
1. While We Danced At The Mardi Gras
2. A Closer Walk
3. When The Saints Come Marching In March
4. When It's Sleepy Time Down South
5. Ol' Man River
6. Cotton Fields

Side Two
1. Sweethearts On Parade
2. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
3. Basin Street Blues
4. Lazy River
5. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
5. Tin Roof Blues

Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain's New Orleans
Clarinet Solos with Rhythm Accompaniment

Back in 1957, Pete Fountain left his New Orleans. He figured he really didn't have a choice - Lawrence Welk, host of the nation's most popular television program, wanted him on the show, and that kind of opportunity comes only once in a lifetime. So Pete Fountain packed up his wife and his three kids and he moved out to California, and for two years he was probably the most famous musician on television, playing the television show, the ballroom sessions, the extended tours with Lawrence Welk and his band. Welk promised Pete that he'd make his name a household word, and he kept that promise - the only problem was, Pete was more interested in playing jazz than he was in getting into the dictionary. So early in 1959, Pete Fountain left The Lawrence Welk Show, and a lot of people at the time wondered if maybe he wasn't just a little bit crazy to give up all that fame and fortune. Obviously, they just didn't understand about New Orleans, and about how playing on a bandstand in a Bourbon Street Club is probably the most important thing in the world. Pete had to go home - whatever the consequences.

As it turned out, Pete had made a pretty good decision. One of the first things that happened to him after leaving Welk was a recording contract with Coral Records, and this is the first album he cut under that contract. Rather than use a full-scale orchestra, Pete and producer Bud Dant decided on a small rhythm group - piano, bass, drums, and Pete's clarinet. The sessions were warm and friendly and informal, and the songs were the kind of jazz standards that Pete had been wanting to play for so long, and the musicians - pianist Stan Wrightsman, bassist Morty Corb, drummer Jack Sperling - were free-wheeling and spontaneous, and Pete Fountain was once again his own man, playing his own kind of music.

Naturally, Pete Fountain is still in New Orleans. It really is his city - on October 26, 1959, they even had a Pete Fountain Day, paying homage to the man who had brought jazz back to its natural home. And these days, Pete has his own club, the French Quarter Inn (on Bourbon Street, of course), and it's the best place in the world to hear him play. But if you can't make it to New Orleans this year, let the city and the music come to you - Pete Fountain's New Orleans.

- Karen Shearer

The Best Of Pete Fountain - MCA Records

The Best Of Pete Fountain




Below Inside Covers




1972 MCA Records MCA2-4032 4032 Stereo

(FORMERLY DXSE7-210) All selections previously released on DECCA album old number DXSE7-210 entitled THE BEST OF PETE FOUNTAIN

FIRST RECORD
Side One:
1. While We Danced At The Mardi Gras
2. A Closer Walk
3. Columbus Stockade Blues
4. Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
5. Fascination Medley: (a) Fascination; (b) Basin Street Blues; (c) Tin Roof Blues; (d) Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
6. China Boy (Go Sleep )

Side Four:
1. When The Saints Come Marching In March
2. St. Louis Blues
3. When My Baby Smiles At Me
4. Shrimp Boats
5. Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)


SECOND RECORD

Side Two.
1. Bye Bye Bill Bailey
2. Lazy River
3. Yes Indeed
4. High Society
5. Stranger On The Shore
6. Over The Waves

Side Three:
1. Oh, Lady Be Good
2. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
3. My Blue Heaven
4. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
5. For Pete's Sake


Liner Notes:

Pierre Dewey La Fontaine, Jr., was born in 1930. In due course, needing a more concise name, he became Pete Fountain. His father had played several instruments as an avocation, and he encouraged his son's interest in music. Before he entered his teens, Pete had begun to study clarinet at Johnny Wigg's State Band School of Music. He showed such natural instinct and aptitude for the instrument that in a very short time he was far ahead of the other pupils. He further developed his style and technique in the time-honored jazz fashion by "sitting in" and "jamming" with bands on Bourbon Street. He studied the work of such prominent jazzmen as Eddie Miller, Charlie Tea-garden, Bobby Hackett and Ray Baudac, and most particularly that of his idol, clarinetist Irving Fazola.

His first professional date came when he was 16, when Fazola died. He took Fazola's chair in a French Quarter band, and the blues tribute he blew for his friend and teacher that night was the making of yet another legend.

In 1948, he joined the Junior Dixieland Band, which won a talent contest and toured the United States. His reputation was growing apace, and after playing in Phil Zito's Dixieland Band, he helped form the Basin Street Six in 1950. This combination played in New Orleans and the area around for three years. He next joined the Dukes of Dixieland and went to Chicago for several months, but he returned home when the group set out on a national tour. "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" is a song with a title of more than ordinary significance for Pete Fountain.

There followed a brief hiatus in his musical career when he joined the "day people" in a 9-to-5 job. This move was made primarily because the musician's life separated him from his wife, Beverly, whom he had married in 1950. Music continued to beckon, however, and after their first child was born he organized a band for an engagement at Dan's Pier 600 on Bourbon Street, where, with the aid of several successful records, his reputation resumed its interrupted expansion.

In the summer of 1956, Pete scored a tremendous success at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, which led to an invitation from Lawrence Welk to make guest appearances on his immensely popular television show. The offer he subsequently accepted for two weeks turned into an engagement lasting two years! The response of home viewers was phenomenal, but eventually the urge to return home and play his own way became too strong.

"I guess champagne and bourbon just don't mix," he said. "Don't get me wrong - Welk is a wonderful man and his TV show did plenty for me. But I just couldn't play the kind of music I wanted to."

Back in New Orleans, he obtained an interest in his friend Dan Levy's Bateau Lounge on the street he loves best - Bourbon Street. Soon he had his own well-appointed and successful club, the French Quarter Inn, and in due course he became the owner of a 35-acre ranch a half-hour from the city.

Happy to live his life in New Orleans, which he leaves somewhat reluctantly for concert and TV appearances, Pete has done much to secure recognition - and an aura of "respectability" - for jazz. It was always supported by the masses, but he succeeded in winning over the city's social, cultural, and business leaders as well. A Pete Fountain Day was proclaimed in New Orleans, and in 1968, the city staged its first full-scale jazz festival. Thanks in large part to Pete Fountain, jazz has truly come home again - and this time to stay.

This collection of recordings, made between 1959 and 1967, illustrates many facets of Pete Fountain's musical personality. As he told writer Burt Korall, he seeks "to combine Fazola's mellow sound with Benny Goodman's drive," and these qualities are evident as he plays in the many different con-texts devised for him by producer Charles Bud Dant.

On half the titles, he is heard as a soloist with a rhythm section that is occasionally supplemented by Godfrey Hirsch's skillful vibes playing. While this affords him maximum freedom, it also charges him with maximum responsibility. Just how adroitly he walks the tightrope between them is happily audible on such classics of the New Orleans repertoire as "When The Saints Come Marching In March," "A Closer Walk," "While We Danced At The. Mardi Gras" and "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans."

Other performances, like "Columbus Stockade Blues" and "St. Louis Blues" find him back in front of a band, and Heinie Beau's arrangement of "Over The Waves," with its knowing use of tuba and four drummers, recreates the sound of the parade bands that are such an integral feature of New Or-leans life. Sy Oliver's famous "Yes Indeed" becomes a neat essay in gospelry as Pete's clarinet is answered by a 14-piece choir. In between an excursion to Nashville for "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You," and to Hamburg for Bert Kaempfert's "For Pete's Sake," there are a whole lot of evergreen jazz standards. And by way of salutes to other clarinetists, there are "Lazy River" (for Sidney Arodin), "When My Baby Smiles At Me" (for Ted Lewis), "High Society" (for Alphonse Picou), and "Stranger On The Shore" -(for Acker Bilk).

THE BEST OF PETE FOUNTAIN is the best of the clarinet, and the best of jazz.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Blues - MCA Records

The Blues



1972 MCA Records MCA-506 Stereo

New sexy cover on this reissue. Previously released in 1959 on Coral Records CRL 757284 Stereo / CRL 57284 Mono titled The Blues

Side One
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Blue Mountain
3. Columbus Stockade Blues
4. Aunt Hagar's Blues
5. Lonesome Road
6. The Memphis Blues

Side Two
1. My Inspiration
2. Wang Wang Blues
3. Beale Street Blues
4. Wabash Blues
5. Five Point Blues
6. Bayou Blues

Liner Notes:

THE BLUES / Pete Fountain
Clarinet Solos with Orchestra directed by Chareles Bud Dant

Pete Fountain and jazz are a natural - they belong together. And Pete and his music belong to New Orleans - the city is, in essence, the "birth-place" of jazz, and it's where Pete can "live the life I know best, the best way I know how to live it."

Jazz has been a part of the Pete Fountain experience almost longer than he can remember. His father was a jazz musician on the side, jazz was a frequent subject of conversation among his friends, the sound of jazz was a constant feature in and around the Fountain home. It was, therefore, almost inevitable that Pete select an instrument basic to the more traditional forms of jazz.

At the age of 12, he began serious study of the clarinet - a full-time job ever since - with Mr. Aliesandro of the New Orleans Symphony. His first professional job, some years later, was a bittersweet experience - he replaced his idol, Irving Fazola, at a strip joint on the night of his death.

"I had to lie about my age. After a while the management found out and fired me, so I started gigging around the city, anywhere I could work."

With the exception of a few trips to Chicago, Pete stayed pretty close to home. He worked with a number of New Orleans traditional units, and was quite happy with his lot. But then, in 1957, Lawrence Welk asked him to come out West and join the famous Welk television family, and Pete figured - correctly - that that was his big break. Two years later he returned to jazz and New Orleans. As he puts it, "champagne and bourbon just don't mix" - but in two years he had become one of the most familiar names in American music, so the time had been well spent, well spent indeed.

Shortly before returning to New Orleans to open the first of his jazz clubs, the Bateau Lounge - he is now the proud proprietor of Pete Fountain's French Quarter Inn, on Bourbon Street - Pete recorded two albums, THE BLUES and PETE FOUNTAIN'S NEW ORLEANS. The albums were,in themselves, an emancipation proclamation, celebrating his return to his kind of music, his kind of feeling, even his kind of life. And his enthusiasm for this project was infectious. As he told Burt Korall at the time of the sessions for THE BLUES, "We got the right cats. The guys were happy. Mannie Klein enjoyed the dates so much that he brought his wife after the first session to hear the rest. These sessions weren't like recording dates. They were relaxed. All of them should be that way . . . the real important thing was to get off the ground right away and swing, and I think we did that."

And what better way to celebrate a return to jazz than by cutting an album of blues? Pete selected some traditional ones and had some new ones written. All of them, in performance, are blues in feeling; the majority, blues in form, as well. The arrangements are uncluttered and swinging, show Pete to advantage, and have an unmistakable traditional feeling.

Pete's been back in jazz for a long time now - fact is, it's kind of hard to believe that he ever left it, even briefly. All you have to do is listen to him play - you know, right away, that Pete Fountain is right where he should be.

Personnel on: LONESOME ROAD - BAYOU BLUES - MY INSPIRATION - COLUMBUS STOCKADE BLUES - WABASH BLUES: Trumpets - Mannie Klein, Conrad Gozzo, Art Depew, Shorty Sherock. Trombones - Moe Schneider, William Schaefer, Harold Diner, Peter Lofthouse. Reeds - Jack Dumont, Eddie Miller, Russ Cheever, Babe Russin, William Ulyate. Rhythm - Jack Sperling, drums; Stan Wrightsman, piano; Morty Corb, bass.

Personnel on: ST. LOUIS BLUES - BLUE FOUNTAIN - WANG WANG BLUES: Trumpets - Mannie Klein, Conrad Gozzo, Art Depew, Jackie Coon. Trombones - Same as above. Reeds - Wilber Schwartz, Eddie Miller, Babe Russin, Matty Matlock, Chuck Gentry. Rhythm - Same as above.

Personnel on: MEMPHIS BLUES - AUNT HAGER'S BLUES - FIVE POINT BLUES - BEALE STREET BLUES: Trumpets - Ray Linn, Jackie Coon, John Best, Art Depew. Trombones - Same as above. Reeds - Jack Dumont, Russ Cheever, Eddie Miller, Babe Russin, Chuck Gentry. Rhythm - Same as above.

Mr. New Orleans - MCA Records

Mr. New Orleans



1973 - MCA Records MCA 165 (reissue of 1961 Decca DL7-5377)
Same as 1963 Coral Records CRL 757440 Stereo / CRL 57440 Mono

Side One
1. South Rampart Street Parade
2. Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
3. The Second Line
4. Basin Street Blues
5. The Darktown Strutters' Ball
6. Marching 'Round the Mountain

Side Two
1. Over The Waves
2. Careless Love
3. Walking Through New Orleans
4. Sugar Bowl Parade
5. Farewell Blues
6. Washington and Lee Swing

Liner Notes:

SOUTH RAMPART STREET PARADE
PETE FOUNTAIN And His Mardi Gras Strutters

Shrovetide, the period before Ash Wednesday, is a gay and active time of year in New Orleans. This pre-Lenten season culminates, there and in other southern cities, with the processions, masquerade balls and other entertainments associated with Mardi Gras, a day sometimes called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

Every Shrove Tuesday morning in recent years, at 9 a.m., a group of musicians and their non-musician friends have gathered at a tavern on St. Charles Street to launch one of the Crescent City's most colorful ceremonies. Pete Fountain, the founder of this marching society, has gone to some lengths to assure its vivid visibility. Special uniforms, brightly sprayed shoes and plumed hats are among the accouterments that draw undivided attention to the strutting members of the Half Fast Walking Club, as it is officially called.

"I was going down there for this year's parade", says Bud Dant, "to take part in it myself - I played mellophone - and to get a first hand view of the club. Pete's followers included a wide variety of personalities from all walks of life. One member of the parade was Cliff Arquette (Charlie Weaver), who brought along an old Civil War cornet. There was no real semblance of order in the parade, though none of us could go very far astray because the crowd kept us hemmed in".

"We marched for about four hours, all the way up St. Charles Street to Canal, and past the reviewing stand, in front of the Mayor and the television cameras. We played a lot of the same tunes you hear in this album, though of course without the organized sound that the music has here."

The most important link between the actual parade as it took place that day and the music as it is heard in this album is the strong, marching-music element of percussion. Taking part in these sessions was a remarkable quartet of drummers. One was Godfrey Hirsch, regularly Pete's vibraharpist. Here he plays a marching drum. Jack Sperling, drummer on most of the Fountain albums, plays snare, cymbal and occasionally a foot bass drum. Nick Fatool plays a field drum, which is a somewhat thicker snare. And Paul Barbarin, who led a ten-piece band in the parade, plays a vertical bass drum, with a little brass-rim of a cymbal on top. He marched into the studio with this drum, the legend "Onward Brass Band Of New Orleans" inscribed on it, and never sat down through the entire recording.

On Careless Love, Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet, Farewell Blues and Marching 'Round the Mountain this percussion team backs up a Dixieland ensemble comprising Jackie Coon on trumpet, Pete on clarinet and Moe Schneider on trombone. On all the other tracks a four-piece trombone team was added, consisting of Lew McCreary, Bill Schaefer, George Roberts (bass trombone) and Dick Nash or Dick Noel.

The rhythm section throughout is composed of Bobby Gibbons, banjo; Phil Stephens, tuba; and Morty Corb, bass.

The tempo accorded to the opening track, the Ray Bauduc-Bob Haggart South Rampart Street Parade, establishes both mood and pace for the entire set. It is neither too slow nor too fast; it just conforms, in fact, to the name of the club. Pete's lower register clarinet hits a fittingly mellow groove on the chorus. The arrangement was written by Don Bagley.

Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet, a head arrangement, has an opening statement by Coon, a beautifully meshed Dixieland ensemble, and solos by Fountain, Schneider and Coon, with the percussion section in command.

Matty Matlock's arrangement of the Paul Barbarin original The Second Line follows, with Pete riding over the ensemble in a buoyant manner recalling the best of the old Bob Crosby band. Heinie Beau's arrangement of Basin Street Blues pits Pete's melodic statements against the trombone section and places the fine ensemble lead of Coon in sharp focus.

The Darktown Strutters' Ball, another Beau score, was composed in 1917 by Shelton Brooks of Some Of These Days fame. Moe Schneider's Teagarden-like facility, Pete's purity of sound and style, and Phil Stephens' tuba break are noteworthy points. Marching 'Round The Mountain, Bud Dant's renovation of the traditional theme, has an interesting passage in which percussion solo work is punctuated by Charles-ton beats from the horns.

Over the Waves, a Heinie Beau arrangement, makes ingenious use of Phil Stephens' tuba for a half chorus of melody (to Pete's obbligato) and an amusing coda.

Careless Love, a head arrangement, with Gibbons' gently strummed banjo figure against the theme, has a relaxed ad lib solo by Pete, toward the end, on this unshopworn 16-bar theme.

Walking Through New Orleans, which with minor variations has had such alternate identities as Maryland My Maryland and March Of The Bob Cats, was skillfully orchestrated by Bud Dant, whose treatment builds a stirring performance out of this simple tonic-dominant theme.

Sugar Bowl Parade was written by Godfrey Hirsch and Pete and arranged by Dant, who reports that the hand played it at the Sugar Bowl and will retain it as a regular fixture in the parade. Note the ingenuity of the drum work after the first chorus, preceding Pete's solo.

Farewell Blues, an informal performance guided by Dant but virtually a head arrangement, offers more traditional-style Dixie, with impressive work by Schneider, Coon and Fountain.

Washington and Lee Swing, arranged by Matty Matlock, bears a resemblance to South Rampart Street Parade in the moderation of its tempo and the generally unhurried manner in which the band swings.

If the music on these sides has the same stimulating effect on you as on this listener, I guess we'll have a date to meet next Mardi Gras morning. Look for those plumed hats, in the vicinity of a tavern on St. Charles Street. And don't forget the struttin' starts at nine - so you'd better be ready about half-
past eight.

Leonard Feather

Pete Fountain's Crescent City - MCA Records

Pete Fountain's Crescent City




1973 MCA Records MCA-336 Stereo

Side One
1. Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree
2. Am I Blue
3. All By Myself
4. Muskrat Ramble
5. Nobody's Sweetheart
6. High Society

Side Two
1. Basin Street Blues
2. Oh Babe, What Would You Say?
3. Funky Beat
4. Spain
5. Dream
6. At The Jazz Band Ball

Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain's Crescent City

Jack Delaney - Trombone
Jim Duggan - Trombone & Tuba
Connie Jones - Trumpet
Mike Serpas - Trumpet
Ed Miller - Tenor Saxaphone
Earl Vuiovich - Piano
Charlie Lodice - Drums
Jack Sperling - Drums
Oliver "Stick" Felix - String Bass

Produced by PETE FOUNTAIN
Engineering: Steven Hodge & Bill Evans
Re-mix Engineer: Bill Evans
Recordist: Lee Peterzell
Recorded at "Studio in the Country," Bogalusa, Louisiana
Photos: Sonny Randon

New Orleans has a style that's all her own, romantic and frivolous and nostalgic, proud and progressive, a city that captures the brilliance of carnival and still preserves the subtle shades of the past, a city that's easy and alive. And New Orleans has a sound that's all her own, too a sound she gave birth to, a music that's purely and precisely American, conceived in a city that's still half French. And the best place to hear that music, played as and where it should be, is Bourbon Street - that is, after all, pretty much where it all started.

Pete Fountain has a style all his own, too - casual and easy-going; so casual, in fact, that he's changed his hairstyle to reflect his mood - these days, Pete is favoring the natural look ("like Telly Savalas with a beard!"). And Pete Fountain is as much a part of New Orleans as jambalaya and Mardi Gras; New Orleans is in Pete's blood. The man and the city have tried a separation - for a while, in Los Angeles, Pete even tried leaving jazz - but Pete and New Orleans and jazz all belong together, and they all come together at Pete Fountain's French Quarter Inn, 231 Bourbon Street.

Like Pete, the club is loose and easy. Five nights a week, two sets a night, Pete and his band make music; they start slow, they end fast; they play some Dixieland and some pop tunes with a jazz beat and sometimes even a country hit like "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree" done a la Pete's kind of Nashville. So take a trip to the French Quarter - it's all here on "Pete Fountain's Crescent City," everything but the drinks and the applause and the Oysters Rockefeller.


- Karen Shearer

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Best Of Pete Fountain Volume II - MCA Records

The Best Of Pete Fountain Volume II



Below are the Inside Covers



1976 MCA Records MCA2-4095, 2 LP Gatefold

Record One
Side One
1. A Taste Of Honey
2 .Hello Dolly
3. Maria Elena4. That's A Plenty
5. Bourbon Street Parade

Side Two
1. Walking Through New Orleans
2. Ol' Creole3. Just One Of Those Things
4. Clarinet Marmalade
5. The Second Line

Record Two
Side One
1. The "In" Crowd
2. Blue Skies
3. It's Been A Long, Long Time
4. Moonglow
5. March To Peruna

Side Two
1. Petite Fleur
2. Careless Love
3. Jazz Me Blues
4. The Darktown Strutters Ball
5. Farewell Blues

Liner Notes:

PETE FOUNTAIN

Labeled a fat-toned Dixieland clarinetist with commercial appeal, Pete Fountain was influenced by Benny Goodman and Irving Fazola. His first professional job was in New Orleans in 1949, playing clubs before joining Phil Zito and Basin Street Six in 1950. In late 1956, Pete joined Al Hirt, leading the group for a while.

Hired by Lawrence Welk in mid-1957 for appearances on Welk's television show, Pete Fountain found success. Featured weekly on the Welk show, Pete Fountain became popular among listeners who cared little for jazz. He was also featured on Welk's albums. At the height of hispopularity in 1959, Pete Fountain left Welk to return to New Orleans and form his own combo. He became a major attraction in that city, opening his own club, The French Quarter Inn, where he performed through most of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Over the years, Pete Fountain has performed around the world, gaining international success via concerts and albums. To millions, Pete Fountain is the bright young man who brought the clarinet back as a popular sound during the late 50s, when a whole new generation rediscovered its sweet, melodic music.

DERIVED FROM THE COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC AND JAZZ 1900-1950
c 1974 By Roger D. Kinkle. Published by Arlington House.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Best Of PETE FOUNTAIN Vol. 2

New Orleans, the Crescent City on the winding, murky Mississippi River, is perhaps more of a mood than a place.

One walks its narrow streets feeling, smelling and almost tasting its old-timey ambience, a palpable, inescapable atmosphere unlike that of any other city in North America.

You amble over to Beauregard Square, at St. Peter and North Rampart streets, which for more than a century was known as Congo Square. Here male and female slaves were sold and traded to owners of nearby plantations. And at other times the area was the frenetic scene of festivals and odd "voodoo" ceremonials in which "imported" blacks from Africa participated. Today, the stylish Municipal Auditorium seating 12,000 persons is immediately behind the historic square and also well within walking distance is the overwhelming Superdome, a massive structure almost too large to comprehend at first sight.

New Orleans sometimes is called "The Paris of America" because of its original settlement by the French - in 1718 - and because of its distinctive French Quarter -the Vieux Carre - which is maintained today much as it looked when it was founded by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, at a time when only the Houma Indians called it their home.

Many extraordinary musicians have come out of these old buildings. And with them came jazz.

Musicologists trace the art back to the slaves and through the many marching bands, solo pianists and, in the World War 1 era, the pioneer small combos which eschewed the then-popular music of Herbert, Romberg and Friml, preferring their own compositions, many of them based on blues progressions handed down from less polished black musicians through the decades following the War Between the States and emancipation.

And thus did Buddy Bolden, Joseph "King" Oliver, Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Oscar "Papa" Celestin, Claiborne Williams, Alphonse Picou, Freddie Keppard, Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, Johnny and Warren "Baby" Dodds, Bunk Johnson, Lorenzo Tio, Jr., George Bacquet and so many others burst forth as musicians of quality, musicians who, with others, of course, became the unknowing architects of a new music.

What they played was handed down to yet another generation, young whites absorbing the style and concept of the blacks.

Pete Fountain came along much later, influenced by the black tradition and white New Orleans jazz as well.

Born in 1930 in New Orleans, Pete Dewey Fountain, Jr., grew up with his ears constantly attuned to records and radio broadcasts.

He enjoyed them all, Oliver, Armstrong, Bechet, Morton and, before he was a teenager studying clarinet, the popular big dance bands of Benny Goodman and Bob Crosby in particular.

Goodman was - and to many, still is - the most gifted jazz clarinetist in the world. And in the Crosby band was the relatively unknown Irving "Fazola" Prestopnik. Both artists influenced young Fountain's growth as a musician. Perhaps Barney Bigard's solos with Duke Ellington also figured.

With the years, Fountain's abilities improved. Soon he was leading his own combo in the Crescent City. He was successful enough to attract Lawrence Welk's attention and in 1957 he joined the North Dakota accordionist, making his home in Los Angeles and being featured on Welk's inordinately popular series of Saturday night ABC-TV programs.

Long plagued by the taunts of fellow musicians, the conscientious Welk was making a determined attempt to upgrade the quality of his music. He succeeded, of course. And his acquiring the talents of Fountain had something to do with it.

Under Welk's sponsorship, Fountain taped his first records, for the old Coral label.

They were successful musically and in the nation's disc/ tape market; Fountain found himself a celebrity.

And although America's musical tastes had shifted to rock 'n' roll, and many of the once-dominant big bands disappeared, Pete remained true to his Louisiana heritage.

He headed up a delightful little dixieland hot combo within the Welk ensemble and taped dozens of danceable tracks for albums and singles on Coral. In 1959, he abruptly departed the Welk organization in Los Angeles and returned to New Orleans.

"I was home again," he says. "But I am grateful to Welk. He made it all possible."

The "all" Pete refers to means well-paying engagements throughout the U.S. and a tour of Europe. Fountain and his group played concerts, dances and clubs, appealing to many Welk fans who knew nothing of and cared little for jazz. They simply liked his personality, and the sounds he served up so effortlessly.

Coral, a division of Decca Records, continued to record Fountain and his sidemen regularly. Charles Bud Dant personally toiled as Pete's understanding, helpful producer. A musician himself, Dant collaborated with Fountain in composing numerous songs, three of which are featured in this package. They are the dixie-styled "Walking Through New Orleans," "01' Creole" and "March to Peruna" onsides two and four. Two additional tunes, "The Second Line" and "Bourbon Street Parade" were conceived by their Crescent City friend, drummer Paul Barbarin (not Barbarian as spelled on the back cover).

As the tonearm slowly moves through the grooves of this pair of LPs, the knowledgeable listener detects Fountain's admiration of his idols. On the lazy-tempoed things like "Maria Elena," "It's Been a Long, Long Time" and "Moonglow" the fat, big-toned sound of the late Fazola is apparent. On the brighter instrumentals like "Just One of Those Things" and "Blue Skies" Fountain approaches the sure-fingered brilliance of Goodman.

And surely one detects flashes of Barney Bigard's low register in many of Pete's solos.

Fountain opened his own night club, the French Quarter Inn in the colorful Vieux Carre, and performed there almost every night for the better part of a decade.

And now, as he approaches his fiftieth year, Fountain has slowed his activities and become downright choosey about his engagements.

But more than any other musician on the scene, he typifies the true New Orleans musician. The city has undergone vast change as the twenty-first century looms. But a visitor still can stroll the byways with impunity - Bourbon Street, the Cabildo, Pirates Alley, Madame John's Legacy at 632 Dumaine, the Napoleon House on Chartres, Casa Hove on Toulouse, the Pontalba buildings, Royal Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, Ursuline Convent, Canal Street, St. Charles Avenue, all redolent with the odors of chicory coffee, nutty pralines and steaming bowls of Creole gumbo.

Pete Fountain is as vital a part of that scene as was King Oliver. For he, like Oliver, continues to reflect the old days when jazz was new.

- DAVE DEXTER, J R.

Mr. Dexter, author of the recent book "Playback" and copy editor of Billboard Magazine, for more than 40 years has written about and produced records by America's most popular musicians, singers and orchestras.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Smooth and Mellow - MCA Records

Smooth and Mellow



1988 MCA Records MSM 35108

Record One
Side One
1. A Closer Walk
2. Maria Elena
3. My Blue Heaven
4. Oh, Lady Be Good
5. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
6. Blue Skies

Side Two
1. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
2. Moonglow
3. Just One of Those Things
4. Petite Fleur
5. Fascination Medley: Fascination/Basin Street Blues/Tin Roof Blues/Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
6. High Society

Record Two
Side One
1. Stranger On The Shore
2. Careless Love
3. Indiana (Back Home Again in Indiana)
4. Hello Dolly!
5. Over The Waves
6. When The Saints Go Marching In

Side Two
1. When My Baby Smiles At Me
2. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
3. Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home
4. It's Been a Long, Long Time
5. The Darktown Strutters' Ball
6. Up A Lazy River

Liner Notes:

Listed as distributed by Good Music Record Company, which assembles collections for mail order firms and TV offers, pacted with MCA for this two LP compilation of tracks drawn from original albums controlled by MCA. It is also available on CD (which is going used for $50 -100!) It comes in a single jacket, no gatefold, no liner notes, credits, etc.

From the Good Music Record Company website: Pete Fountain catapulted to stardom on the Lawrence Welk TV Show and has been pleasing audiences worldwide ever since. And here are the greatest Pete Fountain recordings ever made. All in one superb collection!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Christmas Is A Comin' - MCA Records

Christmas Is A Comin'



1973 MCA Records MCAC-15050 (Cassette Only)

Side One
1. Blue Christmas
2. Christmas Is A Comin' (May God Bless You)
3. I'll Be Home For Christmas
4. Medley: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town / Jingle Bells

Side Two
1. Let It Snow, Let It Snow Let It Snow
2. The Little Drummer Boy
3. Silver Bells
4. Winter Wonderland
5. Jingle Bell Rock

Liner Notes:

Originally released in 1973, reissued in 1992 MCA Special Products on cassette only.

Well. there is a time of year, isn't there, when the demand for licorice sticks appreciably declines and sales graphs of candy walking canes zoom madly upwards?

Everyone knows when that is. So, in anticipation of December 25th, here is Pete Fountain's clarinet, candy-striped, holiday delivered and Christmas-wrapped, to brighten up the festivities in New Orleans style.

Pete came up with a joyful program of Christmas favorites - all the big ones like Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Blue Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, and Santa Claus is coming to Town.

The numbers, in fact, seem to cover every possible eventuality in a swinging holiday season. They announce that both Santa Claus and Christmas are coming, and they bring on the sound of the little drummer boy, not to mention two kinds of bells. Songwrites Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne having expressed a popular sentiment in Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, it is hardly surprising that a Winter Wonderland should result. But how about Blue Christmas? Be not concerned. Just wait until you hear how that candy-stiped clarinet fixes it. Then there ia the assurance that I'll Be Home For Christmas.

The collection is another example of Pete Fountain's versatility. His familiar sound and phrasing are very audibly here, but they are flexibly adapted to fit a new need and a new situation. In the public imagination, the jazz musician is perhaps not exactly the type expected the jolly chores of Santa Claus, yet his charitable instincts are probably as well developed as those of any other member of society. Certainly, there is no questioning the good will expressed through his Candy Clarinet.

It is that instrument, needless to say, which leads the revels. Pete has always had a special gift for providing good cheer, whether it is in New Orleans, Nashville, Los Angeles, or the Winter Wonderland, and here he really shines. On most tracks, too, he is superbly supported by an outstanding vocal group, which brings new zest and know-how to some of the more time-honored selections. And always underneath there is an expert rhythm section, giving performances impetus and a beat - and, in one case, a rock!

This is music made for a happy time. It is music to accompany the feasting and gift giving. It is music to relax to after the children have gone, exhausted, to bed, It is music to dance to after all the day's joyous duties are done. And what it keeps repeating in many different ways, but very clearly is Merry Christmas for Pete Fountain.

Notes are an exerpt from Candy Clarinet (Coral Records)