Pete Fountain

Pete Fountain, Pierre Dewey LaFontaine actually Jr., ( born July 3, 1930 in New Orleans) is a white American jazz clarinetist of the New Orleans Jazz.

Fountain began playing clarinet ( " to strengthen his lungs ," he said in an interview in 2003 ) and was strongly influenced by New Orleans clarinetist Irving Fazola ( 1912-1949 ) influenced ( and this in turn by Leon Roppolo and Jimmie at age 9 Noone ). He played in the bands drummer Monk Hazel (1920-1980) and the trumpeter Al Hirt (1922-1999), before he and his friend, trumpeter George Girard, the " Basin Street Six" founded 1950. In 1954 he joined the band of Lawrence Welk, which was ( 1957-1959 ) transferred with its own TV show on ABC nationally and Fountain made ​​known. Back in New Orleans he played with the " Dukes of Dixieland " the Assunto brothers and thereafter in bands under his own name. He played in the 1960s, often at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and appeared frequently ( 58 times ) on the " The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson. In the 1960s and 1970s he had his own jazz club in the French Quarter, and later to 2003, " Pete Fountain 's Jazz Club" at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans, then in Bay Saint Louis casino. There, he lost his home in Hurricane Katrina in 2006. In the same year he underwent a heart operation - the only time that he missed the Mardi Gras parade.

He is one of the founders of Mardi Gras or Carnival Association " The Half Fast Walking Club". He has published over 100 disks or CDs under his own name, of which " Pete Fountain 's New Orleans ," " Mr.New Orleans " and "The Rules" Gold reached. In 2006 he received an honorary doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. He was four times invited by U.S. President to play in the White House. In 1987 he played before the pope on his show in New Orleans.

In 1972 he wrote his autobiography " A Closer Walk - the Pete Fountain Story" ( named after its recognition hit " Just a Closer Walk with Thee" ).