Pete Fountain

Pete Fountain is one of the most well-known New Orleans jazz clarinetists. He can play songs he’s performed many times before (such as “Basin Street Blues”) and still have the same enthusiasm. Although his style and much of his repertoire are unchanged from the late 1950s, he never seems bored. Fountain, who is heavily influenced greatly by Benny Goodman (and Irving Fazola), was a member the Junior Dixieland Band in 1948. This was followed by a stint working with Phil Zito (1950-1954) and an important connection with the Basin Street Six (1950-1954), where the clarinetist made his debut recordings. Fountain was a member of The Dukes of Dixieland in 1955. But his biggest breakthrough was when he was featured on a Dixieland number or two during each episode of The Lawrence Welk show, 1957-1959. He returned to New Orleans and opened his own club. He continued playing there until he retired from the nightclub industry in 2003. One of Fountain’s best recordings was a long string for Coral between 1959-1965. They went on to become commercial for a time after that. Allmusic

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