Induction today to mark long career
BATON ROUGE -- New Orleans clarinetist Pete Fountain, whose Mississippi Gulf Coast home and memorabilia were decimated by Hurricane Katrina, will be inducted into the Delta Music Museum's Hall of Fame in Ferriday today.
Fountain, 77, will be honored during ceremonies at the 7th annual Delta Music Festival, an event hosted by the secretary of state's office, which operates the museum.
Office spokesman Jacques Berry said although the hall of fame was originally designed to honor the blues greats of the Louisiana and Mississippi Delta, it has broadened its scope to honor figures like singer Irma Thomas and the late Clarence "Frogman" Henry, who are well-known for their careers in New Orleans rock 'n' roll .
Fountain will be honored "for the contributions he has made" to music in general, Berry said. Fountain started out in 1950 in the Basin Street Six, a group he helped form in New Orleans, and carved a national reputation on the Lawrence Welk television show as a featured performer. He later opened a jazz club at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans. After the club closed, he performed two nights a week at a Gulf Coast casino.
Fountain will be honored with a star on the museum's "Walk of Fame" sidewalk. Berry said a permanent exhibit featuring memorabilia, records and album jackets from Fountain's career will be included in the exhibit.
The induction will highlight a daylong festival of music from around the state, arts and crafts, and games near the museum. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The museum also features interactive music kiosks and mannequins of music stars, Berry said.