by Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune
Clarinetist Pete Fountain, Mr. New Orleans, ranks among the Crescent City’s most beloved musicians. Cutting up on the old Lawrence Welk show, goofing around with Johnny Carson and the gang, presiding over nightclubs on Bourbon Street and in the Hilton Riverside, marching with his Half Fast Walking Club each Mardi Gras morning, entertaining popes and presidents - he’s done it all while conjuring some of the sweetest jazz to ever emerge from a clarinet. Fountain performs twice a month at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis, Miss.; his hometown shows are mostly at festivals. But on Saturday afternoon, Fountain plans to celebrate his 80th birthday with a special 3 p.m. performance at Rock ’n’ Bowl. He’ll share the stage with clarinetist Tim Laughlin and cornetist Connie Jones.
Pete Fountain celebrates his 80th birthday at Mid City Rock-n-Bowl in New Orleans with Tim Laughlin, Connie Jones and Co. July 3, 2010. Some You-Tube videos:
Struttin' with Some Barbecue
Pete's granddaughter Danielle tap dances as the band wails on St. Louis Blues
Basin Street Blues
Up a Lazy River
Do You Ever Think of Me?