Happy Birthday Pete Fountain: “Every Note Has a Smile”

Jazz clarinet legend Pete Fountain celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. Pete had over 50 appearances on the Tonight Show, and was a favorite of legendary host Johnny Carson. He has recorded about 100 albums. He lost many of the artifacts documenting his accomplishments in Hurricane Katrina, but he continues to perform.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Pete in 2008 for Where Y’at magazine in New Orleans. The photo here is of Pete and I from the interview, along with Pete’s son-in-law/manager Benny Harrell.
Link to the article “Every Note Has a Smile”

When Ms. Romy Kaye and I recorded our album New Orleans is the One I Love, Pete’s protegé Tim Laughlin recorded several tracks using a custom-made clarinet given to him as a gift by Pete, and it sounds extraordinary. “There’s no better clarinet player in the country now,” said Pete of Laughlin.

Thanks to Tim for lending his considerable talents to our recording project, and best 80th birthday wishes to Pete Fountain (and many more!)

Link to preview the album New Orleans is the One I Love

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2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Pete Fountain: “Every Note Has a Smile””

  1. On a day like today (Fourth of July), I often wonder how many grade school students know patriotic songs — National Anthem, America the Beautiful, the like. Anecdotally, I’ve been surprised by a number of instances in which kids don’t know some of the more obvious songs.

    One role where a little music education could add a component of national identity to our lives.

  2. Hi Pete,
    Just thought I would drop a line and tell you how much I enjoy your playing stranger by the shore. It was my father’s favorite and it makes me think of him. I don’t know if you would remember, but you came to our home back in the 60’s to look at my dad’s 1929 packard. It was gray with a rumble seat. You didn’t buy it, but I remember you looking at it. I was quite young them. We lived in Cleveland ohio, a suburb called Richmond Hts. I think you gave us an autographed album. Fond memories. Sue Pollock

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