Text Box: JAZZ autographs
Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247

 

Price: $150.00

MINT CONDITION

Autographed 8” x 10” original Al White matte, double-weight photograph of the legendary New Orleans jazz clarinetist and band leader, c. 1970’s.  The photograph is dedicated to the photographer.

Fountain (1930-2016) was so closely associated with New Orleans and Dixieland that virtually anything else he did is not remembered save his 38 appearances on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show”.  Born in New Orleans he learned to play the clarinet at the age of 12 to help him compensate for weak lungs.  While he took regular lessons, he was strongly influenced by the jazz records of Benny Goodman and Irving Fazola. By high school he was playing professionally in clubs around New Orleans. At 18 he joined the Junior Dixieland Band, the following year he joined Phil Zito’s International Dixieland Band and began to cut records in 1950.  He helped found the Basin Street Six in the same year.  In 1954 the Basin Street Six disbanded and he formed the band Pete Fountain and his Three Coins in 1955.  Also in 1955 he went to Chicago and joined the Dukes of Dixieland playing with them for 7 months. After the contract expired he went back to New Orleans.  He then began a long association with trumpeters Tony Almerico and more importantly Al Hirt. His fame grew and in 1957 Lawrence Welk came calling and hired Fountain to move to Los Angeles to appear on his weekly program.  Fountain stayed for two years at the end proclaiming that “champagne and whisky don’t mix well.”  There are other stories about the break-up, but essentially Welk did not like Fountain’s improvisational independence.  He also had issue with Fountain’s drinking, though at one time when he tested him when Fountain was in his cups, Fountain played note perfectly and with such verve he backed down.  After 1959 with Hollywood money he came back and purchased his first in a series of clubs where he famously led bands for the rest of his life.  Fountain was often a guest on television talk shows and music programs.  Johnny Carson in particular loved him and had him on his program some 38 times between 1964 and 1992.  In 1990 he was a half time performer at the Super Bowl in New Orleans and made 4 appearances at the White House in concert.  A prolific recording artist, he made 56 albums as band leader, or feature performer and as side man for another 44 records.  Those have been issued and re-issued many times on CD.

An unusual autographed photograph of the clarinet legend.

PETE FOUNTAIN - CLARINETIST