Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pete Fountain to be inducted into Delta Music Hall of Fame - News

Pete Fountain to be inducted into Delta Music Hall of Fame in Ferriday

Courtesy of the Concordia Sentinel Newspaper Feb.21, 2008

New Orleans jazzman Pete Fountain will be inducted into the Delta Music Hall of Fame on April 5th in Ferriday during the annual Delta Music Festival.

"We just received word this past weekend," said museum director Judith Bingham. "We're very excited about it. We're working out all the details now." Bingham also noted that the new Arcade Theater is near completion. "They put in the theater lights and are putting in the sound," Bingham said. "Everything is really looking good inside and the stage is completed with a huge wooden floor." Bingham said Arcade will be dedicated during the festival and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held prior to the event.

Born July 3, 1930 in New Orleans, Fountain performed with several bands during his career, including Junior Dixieland Band in the famous Parisian Room. A few years later, Fountain joined Phil Zito's International Dixieland Express. In 1957, Fountain appeared on the Lawrence Welk Show and became a household name.

After two years in California, Fountain came home to New Orleans. He opened his own jazz club in the heart of the French Quarter. His national fame and fans followed him to New Orleans which allowed Fountain's club to expand, through the past 38 years, into the largest jazz club in the city.

Fountain has performed at four U.S. State Dinners by command performance for four Presidents of the United States. He has also performed for Pope John Paul II at the New Orleans Papal Mass with an attendance of over 400,000 people.

He has recorded over 90 albums. Three of Fountain's albums have gone gold, "Pete Fountain's New Orleans," "The Blues," and "Mr. New Orleans." He also received a gold record for his hit single "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland - Arcadia Records

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland
Featuring Pete Fountain
1955 Arcadia Records 108 (Mono only) 7" 45 Rpm

Side A
1. Baby, Baby (Margie O'Dair - Vocals)

Side B
1. O' Mabel Where Can You Be (Texas Slim - Vocals

Liner Notes:

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland

Margie O'Dair - Vocals
Texas Slim - Vocals
Sharkey Bonano - Trumpet
Pete Fountain - Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone
Armand Hug - Piano
Jack Delaney - Trombone
Dan LeBlanc - Bass
Paul Ferrara - Drums

Early Pete Fountain with Sharkey's Dixieland Band. Pete played off and on with Sharkey's band. In the 1950's, Sharkey's band constantly changed musicians, depending who was available.

The other 45 they did together on Arcadia #107 with "Abbeville Our Abbeville" as the featured song. If you know of any other Arcadia records, or if a 12" or 10" records was ever released on Arcadia, please e-mail me.

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland - Arcadia Records

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland
Featuring Pete Fountain
1955 Arcadia Records 107 (Mono only) 7" 45 Rpm

Side A
1. Abbeville Our Abbeville (Sharkey Bonano - Vocals)

Side B
1. I Didn't Know Then, Like I Don't Know You Now (Art Petivan - Vocals)

Liner Notes:

Sharkey and His Kings Of Dixieland

Art Petivan - Vocals
Sharkey Bonano - Trumpet and Vocals
Pete Fountain - Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone
Armand Hug - Piano
Jack Delaney - Trombone
Dan LeBlanc - Bass
Paul Ferrara - Drums

Early Pete Fountain with Sharkey's Dixieland Band. Pete played off and on with Sharkey's band. In the 1950's, Sharkey's band constantly changed musicians. I've post some of Sharkey's Southland records already, and will post a few more of interest. The other 45 they did together on Arcadia is the 45 RPM Arcadia Records #108 with "Baby, Baby" as the featured song. (Which I will post soon) If you know of any other Arcadia records, or if a 12" or 10" records was ever released on Arcadia, please e-mail me.

Jazz At The Philharmonic - Karusell Records

Jazz At The Philharmonic
Santo Pecora And His Dixie Land Jazz Band
featuring Pete Fountain

1950 Karusell Records KEP-242 Monoual

Side A
1. Canal Street Romp
2. Rose Of The Rio Grande

Side B
1. Twelfth Street Rag
2. Basin Street Blues

Liner Notes:

Santo Pecora And His Dixie Land Jazz Band

45 Rpm Extended Play
Supervised By Norman Granz

George Girard, trumpet
Santo Pecora, trombone
Pete Fountain, clarinet
Fred Laudeman, piano
Lou Massenter, bass
Eddie Grady, drums
Recorded in New Orleans, LA, 1950

Cover design by David Stone Martin

Santo Pecora, who was playing trombone with Sharkey Bonano's band on Bourbon Street made and released several sides, all of them featuring his tremendous, driving trombone. A young 20 year old Pete Fountain is heard here, with George Girard. This release came from Europe and was previously released in the U.S. by Santo Pecora and Norman Granz on Clef Records EP-117 in 1950.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pete Fountain - Yes Indeed - Coral Records

Yes Indeed

1962 Coral Records EC 81190 7" EP

Side 1:
1. Sing You Sinners
2. Yes Indeed

Side 2:
1. Dis Ol' Train
2. Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain With The Jubilee Singers And Orchestra
Directed By Charles Bud Dant

Pete Fountain: clarinet
Stanley Wrightsman: piano
Godfrey Hirsch: vibes
Morty Corb: bass
Jack Sperling: drums
Dick Cathcart: trumpet
Bobby Gibbons: guitar
Plas Johnson: tenor saxophone

The recordings here, which come from the Coral LP Swing Low Sweet Clarinet is a completely new experience in New Orleans Jazz. Through the magic that is Pete Fountain devout disciples of the traditional idiom born in the heart of Crescent City, will discover an excitingly new component with jazz. Production wise this album is different - a new departure among the usual tune anthologies under a single cover. Yet, amazingly enough, here is tradition somehow overlooked until now in the combined use of little band jazz with Jubilee Singers.

Site One:
No. 1: SING YOU SINNERS (Instrumental- Pete with Quintet)

Sperling establishes the opening pace as an introduction into a medium tempo with Pete's clarinet leading the group. Godfrey Hirsch embellishes the background with vibe figures. On the chorus Pete and Godfrey divide solos backed by strong rhythm. The device of a string bass and guitar stop-chorus by Morty Corb and Bobby Gibbons provides an exceptional taste contrast. Closing out, the technical artistry of Jack points up a fast following ensemble finish.

No. 2: YES INDEED (Jubilee Singers with Rhythm Section)

The fourteen voice choir - eight men and six girls, work with the small band on this Ray Charles number. Pete has a short cadenza that gets it jumping in a spirited mood. The choir answers Pete with the title words while the rhythm section drives on in the background. String bass and guitar take over a chorus dividing the honors; then the first driving chorus repeats. The Fountain clarinet is the emphatic force. There is a uniquely stated ending - very exceptional. A single of this title would be a smash hit!

Side Two:
No. 1: DIS OL' TRAIN (Fountain) (Singers with Rhythm Section)

The Pete Fountain rhythm section and the Jubilee Singers open this side with some well adapted vocal effects that quicklyget the train rolling out fast. Pete and Jack Sperling open the throttle with some well paced clarineting and drum work that make for a decidedly happy trip. The clarinet justifiably pre-dominates throughout. Use of dynamics, particularly with an exciting by-play drum break and application of chords ranging to a very soft closing, also diminishes the tempo speed to a slow, sustained ending.

No. 2: NOBODY KNOWS (Singers with Rhythm Section)

The intro is highlighted by Pete augmenting the Jubilee voices which sustain until the easy-riding tempo is set. Fountain's low register use with the singers provides a remarkably well balanced effect. Particularly outstanding in the happy mood of the chorus is soprano Gwen Johnson, who with the other Jubilees finds exceptional background blending by the rhythm section. The strong beat leads to interplay between Pete's clarinet and vocalist. The ending, as in the beginning. ritards.

There can be no doubt over the ultimate destiny of this album. The combined use of Jubilee Singers with Pete Fountain and his groups becomes a satisfying musical experience. It is fitting that this first album usage of the vocalists and musicians be in the traditional vein. Certainly, there has been no recorded similarity in this specific age with such outstanding success. This cannot be considered in the light of an experiment, for singing of this happy, exuberant type of music is as old as early jazz expression in New Orleans.

Pete Fountain - The Licorice Stick Man - Bravo Records

Pete Fountain "The Licorice Stick Man"

1962 Bravo Records BR 377 Mono 7" EP

Side 1:
1. Jazz Me Blues
2. South Rampart Street Parade

Side 2:
1. Sensation Rag
2. Bugle Call Rag

Liner Notes:

Pete Fountain: clarinet
Tony Almerico: trumpet
Jack Delaney: trombone
Roy Zimmerman: piano
Lester Bouchon: clarinet. tenor saxophone
Frank Frederico: guitar
Joe Lovacano: bass
Johnny Castain: drums

Recorded in 1957

Pete Fountain is the licorice stick man. The licorice stick, as any child well knows, is long, thin and black and full of aroma and flavor. That description also happens to fit Pete's clarinet, the tastiest reed exported from Louisiana since the discovery of cane sugar.

- HERMAN SCHOENFELD, Music Editor of "Variety"

At The Jazz Band Ball With Pete Fountain's Dixieland All Stars - Tempo Records

At The Jazz Band Ball
Pete Fountain's Dixieland All Stars

1959 Tempo Records EXA-93 7" EP (UK Import)

Side One:
1. Farewell Blues
2. At The Jazz Band Ball

Side Two:
1. March Of The Bobcats
2. Jazz Me Blues

Liner Notes:

Al Hirt
Abe Lincoln
Pete Fountain (Clarinet)
Eddie Miller (Tenor Saxophone)
Stan Wrightsman (Piano)
Morty Corb (Bass)
Ray Bauduc (Drums)

In the city of New Orleans there are now many different forms of jazz which flourish in the clubs and cafes. And this is right for New Orleans was, after all, where it all started sometime back, about the 1880's. Though it is an indescribable shame that the old folk jazz is now finally dying out, practiced by only a few of the older musicians, it is, nonetheless, comforting to know that New Orleans still has Jazz. In fact, New Orleans has a considerable amount of jazzmen who still make a living in the Crescent City. Many of the younger men - Pete Fountain for instance - are no longer playing the same way as did their fathers and uncles, but the jazz they produce still swings in proper Southern fashion and, wherever they play, they carry with them the sound, the feeling of their great parent city.

Pete Fountain, a musician who evidently favours the late Irving Fazola, was born in New Orleans on July 3rd. 1930. He had a good start in jazz for his father, Peter Dewey Fountain. Sr., played drums and violin with various jazz bands in the Biloxi, Miss., area, and so young Pete came across the sound of jazz at a very early age. In 1942, when Pete Fountain was 12 years old, he joined the school band and it was then that he first decided to study clarinet. He proved to be a first rate pupil for, by 1948, he was playing regularly with the Junior Dixieland Jazz Band. In 1949-50 he had a spell with the Phil Zito band and then, in 1950, he really began to make a name for himself with the Basin Street Six. Then, in 1954, Pete Fountain decided that the time had come for him to front his own band and this certainly turned out to be a sound decision for he has been doing so, successfully, ever since. His success has caused him to make several trips to Chicago and the West Coast, where he is a great favourite with the lovers of clean, crisp Dixieland music, but, on the whole, he has stayed at home in New Orleans.

Here Pete Fountain is joined by two members of the old Bob Crosby Bobcats. Tenor man, Eddie Miller, has long been one of Pete Fountain's favourite instrumentalists which must have made this session even more of a pleasure for Pete: Ray Bauduc, a fine drummer who helped to swing the Crosby band for so long, is the other ex-Bobcat. With Abe Lincoln, an experienced trombonist from the late thirties, the pleasing Stan Wrightsman, Al Hirt and Morty Corb, the group produces a dynamic. swinging jazz which owes a great deal to small groups of the Swing Era.

And all this goes to prove that jazz is where you find it... mainly in New Orleans.

- JACK BAKER C 1959 by Tempo Records, London