Tuesday, June 17, 2008

George Rodrique's Blue Dog celebration at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Blue Dog celebration at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Here are a couple of photos shot by John (one of our blog members) of Pete and artist George Rodrique during the 31-hour long Blue Dog celebration at the New Orleans Museum of Art this past Sunday, June 8, 2008. Thanks John!

The New Orleans Jazz Fest Limited Edition Art Poster of Pete Fountain and Blue Dog by George Rodrigue.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

American Airlines Music Programs - AstroStereo Records

American Airlines AstroStereo Music Programs
(December 1964 - mid 70's)
Featuring Pete Fountain

Note, the covers were not scanned in by me, the quality is what it is until I get the originals to scan in.

Liner Notes:

American Airlines AstroStereo Music Programs (December 1964 - mid 70's)

Produced as a continuous 3 hour program on standard 4/track open reel tapes that played stereo each direction at 3-3/4 ips.

Tapes were changed each month and sold for home use after the current flight month for an AstroNomical price of $23.95 each As the program guide says, "Tapes are reproduced at 3-3/4 ips on standard 7" reels, suitable for all 4-track recorders. Beautifully packaged in standard-size tape boxes to fit home tape libraries." The art work for the album covers seems to have been generated by American Airlines own advertising agency as it was the same pictures for both the classical and popular program tapes for a given month.

Program Number 15
Flight Date 2/66
DECCA/CORAL (67 tracks) Brenda Lee, Burl Ives, Kingston Trio, Xavier Cugat Orch, Peter Duchin Carmen Cavallaro, Pete Fountain, Jonah Jones, Rick Nelson play tribute to the 1950's

Program Number 30
Flight Date 5/67
DECCA/CORAL (66 tracks) Leroy Anderson, Peter Duchin Orch., Pete Fountain, Earl Grant, Mimi Hines, Burl Ives, Jonah Jones Quartet, Bert Kaimfert Orch., Sammy Kaye Orch, Brenda Lee, Bobbi Martin, Freddy Martin Orch., Robert Maxwell, Rick Nelson, and the Stratford Strings

Program Number 41
Flight Date 4/68
DECCA/CORAL (61 tracks) Brenda Lee, Sammy Kaye, Bert Kaempfert, Freddy Martin, Rafael Mendez, Trumpets Ole, Earl Grant, Pete Fountain, George Feyer, Peter Duchin, Lenny Dee, Carmen Cavallaro, Vincent Bell, Laurindo Almeida.

Program Number 54
Flight Date 5/69
DECCA/CORAL (60 tracks) pix Brenda Lee, Pete Fountain, Shirley MacLaine, Carmen Cavallaro, Clebanoff Strings, Lenny Dee, Peter Duchin, Earl Grant, Irish Rovers, Bert Kaempfert & Sammy Kay

Program Number 66
Flight Date 5/70
DECCA/CORAL/MCA (65 tracks) pix Carmen Cavallaro, Cuff Links, Pete Fountain, Earl Grant, Bert Kaempfert, Sammy Kaye Orchestra, Brenda Lee...

For more information on AstroSereo recordings , please visit


Sunday, June 1, 2008

At the Jazz Band Ball with The Dukes Of Dixieland - VIK Records

At the Jazz Band Ball
with The Dukes Of Dixieland
Featuring Pete Fountain

1954 VIK Records LXA-1025 Mono
(VIK is an RCA Records subsidiary)
reissued in 1955 on VIK Records LX-1025 Mono as
At the Jazz Band Ball with The Dukes Of Dixieland
reissued in 1956 on RCA Records LSP-2097 Stereo / LSM-2097 Mono as
At the Jazz Band Ball with The Dukes Of Dixieland
reissued in 1961 on RCA Records LSP-2097(e) Stereo / LSM-2097 Mono as

Side A:
1. At the Jazz Band Ball
2. Beale Street Blues
3. Muskrat Ramble
4. Blue Prelude
5. That's A-Plenty
6. Original Dixieland One-Step

Side B:
1. Panama
2. Wolverine Blues
3. Fidgety Feet
4. Tin Roof Blues
5. Tiger Rag
6. When the Saints Come Marching In

Trumpet: Frankie Assunto
Trombone: Freddie Assunto
Clarinet: Pete Fountain
Piano: Artie Seelig
Bass: Bill Potter
Drums: Roger Johnston
Vocals: Betty Owens

Liner Notes:

'Way back in 1917 our Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, closed New Orleans' famed Storyville, and jazz took the rap. Jazz flourished in Storyville as part and parcel of the entertainment. When the "Closed" signs appeared, the New Orleans jazzmen, aided in their quest for gold by Representative Andrew Volstead and his 19th Amendment, headed for Chicago, then known as a city of booze, barons and big money. For a long, long time New Orleans wasn't the same.

Gradually, a jazz renaissance came about in New Orleans. There were outside influences, to be sure, like the Lu Watters Yerba Buena Jazz Band in San Francisco. But mainly it was the forces from within, pushing up again against a tide that wasn't pulling too hard. Bunk Johnson had a lot to do with the rebirth of jazz in New Orleans, and so did a group of youngsters who called themselves THE DUKES OF DIXIELAND.

The Dukes got themselves organized right after the fighting stopped in World War II. They were kids, but that didn't seem to matter. Six years ago they walked into the Famous Door in New Orleans for a four-week engagement, and they stayed there for something more than five-and-one-half years. In that time the saloon was remodeled two times. The drawing power of the Dukes was such that the owner had no trouble at all digging up the necessary cash to pay for the expensive redoings. In April of '55, the Dukes were signed for an engagement at the Preview Lounge in Chicago. It was such a terrific success that they've now been signed there to a long-term contract. Because of this, the air should be purer in the old Windy City. But we have gotten ahead of ourselves, for you should know just who the Dukes of Dixieland are. As of today, the roster reads:

Frankie Assunto - trumpet
Roger Johnston - drums
Freddie Assunto - trombone
Artie Seelig - piano
Pete Fountain - clarinet
Bill Potter - bass
Betty Owens - vocal

Frankie, now all of twenty-four years of age, was the real organizer. The Assunto boys, like each member of the Dukes, were born in New Orleans. They got their musical training from their father, who is still a mean man with the slide trombone. The front line, trumpet, trombone and clarinet, incidentally, is exactly the same today as it was at the beginning, and both Johnston and Seelig have been members almost since the start.

Betty Owens, who is the Duchess and who sings like it was all fun, is from Baton Rouge, which is in Louisiana too. For a while she sang as a child hillbilly star with Governor Jimmy Davis. She came to the Dukes in 1947, and we might guess that she'll be around for as long as they are, as she is married to Freddie Assunto.

There's a whale of a difference between the Dukes and a lot of the other jazz bands you hear nowadays. 'It's all to the good. Too many Dixieland bands play like it was just a dose of medicine they have to swallow each night; the Dukes don't - they obviously get a tremendous wallop out of their music making, and it comes through clear and sharp on this disc. Some younger bands depend almost entirely for effect on enthusiastic effort. The Dukes combine their enthusiasm with enormous ability. They are crisp. They work togetheras a unit, and the solo playing is fresh and imaginative. They kick into the final ensembles like the liner United States plowing into twenty-foot waves. They are equally at home with standards and popular songs of the day, with tunes that are fast and slow. In other words, the Dukes have it in diamonds, doubled and redoubled, right down to the toes of their argyles.

As for this recording, it deals strictly with the great old Dixieland war horses, with the exception, perhaps, of Blue Prelude. This is the lovely Gordon Jenkins-Joe Bishop tune that was used as a theme for years by Woody Herman, and it's used by the Dukes as a marvelous expression for Freddie Assunto's trombone.

If one single work must be picked as the outstanding number of the album, my choice would be Tin Roof Blues, that ancient collaboration of the New Orleans Rhythm Kings which became so popular as Make Love to Me in 1954. In this one there is a crackerjack and extended solo by one Peter Dewey Fountain, Jr., who is a tremendous clarinetist! There are a couple of times when the clicking of the keys on the instrument can clearly be heard, which may be a good proving point on how well the record was recorded. And a lot of the time, behind Fountain's soulful and expressive blowing, is the undercurrent theme of Yancey's Special. The effect of this is superb.

For Tiger Rag, which should be at least accredited to Jelly Roll Morton, Freddie Assunto plays some handsomely guttural trombone. The Dukes don't treat the Tiger as a race horse, but instead subject her to a steady, good gallop, which is the way it should be. Frank Assunto can be heard singing Saints, in the same kind of an "arrangement" used many years ago by Louis Armstrong. Don't miss the tromboning of Freddie on Muskrat Ramble either. Maybe he was thinking of another trombonist when he was playing this tune, another trombonist named Kid Ory who happened to write the thing. Incidentally, Muskrat Ramble didn't have a name right off the bat. It came up for recording during a session by Louis Armstrong's Hot Five. After it was all over, someone or other asked Ory for the name, and he was saved by Lil Armstrong who simply looked up and said: "Oh, that's Muskrat Ramble." Some time later Mr. Melrose of the Melrose Music Company changed the Muskrat to Muskat, because he didn't like the sound of the "rat," but it never did stick.

Panama, At the Jazz Band Ball, That's A-Plenty are wonderful expressions by the full band - solid rhythm, driving horns, magnificent clarinet and excellent solos. The album plays to a fare-thee-well from stem to stern, and that's the way it was intended by the Dukes of Dixieland, who are, as you will so readily hear, one of the real fine jazz outfits of this or any other time. So, let the record spin. As a lady on my block is apt to say, "It couldn't possibly be more fun!"


Monk Hazel And His New Orleans Jazz Kings - Southland Records

Monk Hazel And His New Orleans Jazz Kings
Featuring Pete Fountain

1955 Southland Records S-LP 217 Mono Only

Side One:
1. Panama
2. All The Wrongs You Done To Me
3. Long Way To Tipperary
4. I Use To Love You

Al Hirt - Trumpet
Jack Delaney - Trombone
Pete Fountain - Clarinet
Joe Capraro- Guitar
Roy Zimmerman - Piano
Phil Darois - String Bass
Monk Hazel - Drums/Mellophone
Rita St Claire - Vocal

Side Two:
1. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
2. When You're Smiling
3. Angry
4. Basin Street Blues

Dutch Andrus - Trumpet
Jack Delaney - Trombone
Harry Shields - Clarinet
Roy Zimmerman - Piano
Chink Martin -
Monk Hazel - Drums
Jackie Blaine - Vocal

Cover Design By ANDY LANG

Also released with different cover, same catalog number and title: Monk Hazel and His New Orleans Jazz Kings.

Liner Notes:

Certain types of musicians are born to be legends. People like Buddy Bolden, Bix Beiderbecke, Paul Mares, Leon Roppolo, Larry Shields and Monk Hazel are the stuff that jazz dreams are made of. But of the quintet names above, Little Monk is the only one left on this sphere, still sparking great jazz combinations. Always insufficiently recorded in years gone by in fact his last recording session fronting his own band dates back to December 1928 when he waxed four sides under the name of "Monk Hazel and his Bienville Roof Garden". Monk's work is mainly remembered by those fortunate enough to see him in person here or on his occasional sensational forays into New York, Chicago, or Hollywood.

If you're one of those unfortunates who have been told so many times, "You should have been here last night! Monk Hazel was on the stand" you'll welcome these nine sides, because they're just the way he played the night you missed him. Principally famed as the greatest of Dixieland drummers, Monk is also celebrated for his work on cornet and e-flat valve trombone plus his great mellophone solo's one which you will hear on the tune "It's A Long Way To Tipperary."

You'll be knocked out, nevertheless, by the unique Hazel beat as present herein, occupying the spotlight in the rhythm section that includes not only the tuba work on side two by Chink Martin, Sr. but the string bass of Phil Darois with that fabulous beat which has become identified with music generating in this Crescent City.

On both sessions you hear Roy Zimmerman the veteran New Orleans piano man stressing sustained improvisation in middle and upper register and extracting rich tones from the piano bass. On clarinet side two fresh from the critical acclaim heaped on his melodious horn in all of the jazz periodical, following his first Southland appearance with the Johnny Wiggs Group (S-LP 200), you'll hear Harry Shields even more carefully recorded, and full of the quiet fire that made for him an overnight world-wide reputation. You'll never get his solo on the verse to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" out of your mind.

On Side One the big tone of Pete Fountain clarinet who reminds one of the late and great Irving Fazola, and it is a rare privilege to be able to present him now surrounded by men of his own caliber in his finest recorded performance. Jack Delaney's fluent trombone (heard on both sides) which has in the past year captured the fancies and hearts of all of New Orleans, alternates flexibly between "Tailgate" and "High Register" in a manner that confounds so many of the older heads here and then tosses in solos full of freshness and facility rivalling Brunis and Teagarden.

The driving trumpet you'll hear on Side One is a rare treat. Al Hirt has been a outstanding "job" musician around New Orleans for many a year. Obviously for no good reason, he's never been recorded with a Dixieland band before. You'll be shocked, when you hear this wonderful horn to realize that a jazzman of this caliber can get lost in any city. Southland apologizes for the whole record industry, but offers Al Hirt here in his highly successful disc debut. On Side Two you hear Dutch Andrus on trumpet, a current start in his own right carries this session along in masterly fashion. Dutch has established himself already as one of New Orleans outstanding jazzmen. He sat regularly with the town's finest, and they love to play with his typically New Orleans lead horn. On Side One you hear the top man in his field today on guitar "Joe Capraro" with his big full tone and stimulated rhythm.

Southland was so impressed with the fine singing of Rita St Claire that we took this opportunity to offer her to you. On Side One you will hear Rita St Claire backed by this exciting Dixieland ensemble in "All The Wrongs You Done To Me" and "It's A Long Way To Tipperary" - you hear this gorgeous voice. She is a natural, her singing is effortless, her pitch true, her tone full and thrilling.

On Side Two you hear the great blues singer Jackie Blaine giving Spencer Williams great blues "Basin Street Blues" a grand treatment.

Joe Mares, Jr.
Southland Records

Made in New Orleans S-LP 217

Jack Delaney And His New Orleans Jazz Babies - Southland Records

Jack Delaney And His New Orleans Jazz Babies
featuring Pete Fountain

Second version of the front cover
1954 Southland Records SLP 214 Mono Only

Same LP was also published as "Dixieland Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" same catalog number, tracks and similar back cover, but has a different front cover. Southland commonly had two or three different covers for the same LP.

Side One
Jack Delaney, Trombone

Alvin Alcorn, Trumpet
Pete Fountain, Clarinet
Chink Martin, String Bass
Roy Zimmerman, Piano
Joe Capraro, Guitar
Monk Hazel, Drums-Mellophone

1. Shine
2. Sidewalks Of New York
3. Hindustan
4. Till We Meet Again

Side Two
Jack Delaney, Trombone

Raymond Burke, Clarinet
Lee Collins, Trumpet
Stan Mendelson, Piano
Abbie Brunies, Drums
Sherwood Mangiapane, Bass

1. Careless Love
2. Bucktown Drag
3. Who's Sorry Now
4. Basin Street Blues

Cover Design by Johnny Donnels

Liner Notes:

Dixieland from New Orleans: Naturally that's where it all started, back before the turn of the century. New Orleans - where the old time marching jazz came into being: Where Ragtime: Barrel House, old and present day Dixieland all originated: And the best Dixieland is still coming from this famous bend in the Mississippi. Here's Recorded Proof.

The greatest names in jazz history were born right here in New Orleans. To name a few: Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Kid Ory, George Brunis, Paul Mares, Leon Roppolo, Irving Fazola, Eddie Miller, Monk Hazel, Santo Pecora, Lester Bouchon, Harry Shields. Every Crescent City boy hears so much music that he can't help developing a genuine interest in this Great Jazz.

There are always parades to inspire the kids. Jazz music is always with them, all year around, Dances, Parties, Celebrations. That's why so many New Orleans Jazz Men begin playing while they're still youngsters. Parents encourage the kids who show an interest in music - After all the older folks, too, have grown up in this parade-brass atmosphere.

It's little wonder that this environment must produce great jazz musicians. So here's real New Orleans-Dixieland music at its very best, and here is a veritable cavalcade of great New Orleans Jazzmen in two spectacular groups, each built around the young leader "Jack Delaney" and his unbelievable trombone. In the world of jazz a tasteful trombone is vital. Jack Delaney possesses all of the qualifications - tone, power, exceptional inventiveness. The ability to fit perfectly in the ensemble work, and a true tailgate style. We catch Jack on these sessions playing in three different styles: The Brunis Style, The Jack Teagarden Style and The Jack Delaney Style. No one enjoys playing more than Jack. He's got Dixieland in his heart. After you hear him on these sides you'll remember the name Jack Delaney, one of the next generation of great names in New Orleans Jazz. On side one you will hear the beautifully lyrical clarinet passages of Pete Fountain who will remind one of the late great Irving Fazola.

Opposite Pete Fountain we find the unique idea of the high-ranking Raymond Burke. On side one is the youthful sensation Alvin Alcorn from whose gleaming trumpet pours the whole tradition of the Crescent City, fine driving lead and exciting solos. On side two we find Lee Collins one of the jazz immortals who has been blowing the same kind of New Orleans horn for the past three decades - And better today than ever before. On piano side one we find Roy Zimmerman. Roy working freely and solid as we've rarely heard him. Onside two we find Stanley Mendelson a young man with old ideas, possessor of a truly great left hand, he has all the barrel house rock and a sincere and emotional style all his own.

Side one, Chink Martin using his string bass to perfection and lays down a big round tone. Side two we find the popular Sherwood Mangiapane; this bass-slaper deluxe would rather bleed to death than miss a beat. On side one we find Monk Hazel on drums and mellophone, Monk's name is famous where ever jazz is heard. Monk made a lot of music and still does. Monk Hazel heard on drums here, lays down a solid beat and plays more honest-to-goodness drums than you can find anywhere else in this hide beating generation. On side two we find the late Abbie Brunis on drums, drumming in good taste and his delicate handling of the rhythm is beautifully adequate. A special treat is the appearance of Joe Capraro on guitar on side one. Joe remains unchallenged in his mastery of the guitar and retains his enormous vigor and vitality after these many years. Joe maintains his position as a top Jazz Musician (after a lay off of twenty-five years) and is already for a hot session day or night.

Southland is proud of this album and proud to be able to work and record here in New Orleans, where session like this are possible and music can be made to delight the hearts of jazz lovers all over the world. After reading the multitude of wonderful reviews accorded Jack Delaney's heart warming horn on his first LP release we include these and other printed comments.

Particularly pleasurable is the full-tone expansiveness of Delaney's Tromhone." (Downbeat)

"Jack Delaney tracks are robust music played with a high degree of musicianship. His work on Southland is of high order. A big future for this boy." (Jazz Journal)

"Young Jack Delaney is improving with every week that passes. On South-land Records he can be heard playing delightful Trombone, easy swinging stuff in perfect taste, with a big tone and very original ideas. Jack is one of the most promising musicians in the states. A big future for this grand young musician." (Melody Maker: England)

"Jack Delaney's Trombone is mellow, round and big, It is very remindful of Miff Mole and Jack Teagarden combined. For such a youngster who is still learning, it is our prediction that this is the boy to watch. He's Got It, He Loves It, And he's not spoiled by the fuss that's being made over him." (Second Line - New Orleans Jazz Club)

"Jack Delaney is super extraordinary because that young man's syncopated ensemble blowing is outstanding, and this young man can really claim the singing tone. One of the finest Trombone men in the country today." (Alan C. Weber - Waterbury - Republican - Conn.)

- Joe Mares, Jr.