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Pete Fountain

  • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Birthday: July 03
Date of passing: 
August 06, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Pete Fountain was an American jazz clarinetist who made frequent appearances on such television series as The Lawrence Welk Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The musician, who was also known for his wit, played in a variety of styles, including Dixieland, pop jazz and honky-tonk jazz, as well as pop, and Creole.

Fountain also appeared and performed on shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Dolly Parton. Additionally, he appeared on The Plymouth Show, The Lively Ones, Here’s Edie, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Kraft Music Hall and, most recently, Live! with Kelly.

He got his start in New Orleans and began playing professionally on Bourbon Street when he was in his teens. He went on to tour nationally, but garnered fame in 1957 when he joined The Lawrence Welk Show as a headliner. He stayed with the show until 1959, then opened his first Bourbon Street club the following year. He later moved to a larger location before starting a lengthy run at the Hilton in the 1970s.

Pete Fountain was an American jazz clarinetist who made frequent appearances on such television series as The Lawrence Welk Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The musician, who was also known for his wit, played in a variety of styles, including Dixieland, pop jazz and honky-tonk jazz, as well as pop, and Creole.

Fountain also appeared and performed on shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Dolly Parton. Additionally, he appeared on The Plymouth Show, The Lively Ones, Here’s Edie, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Kraft Music Hall and, most recently, Live! with Kelly.

He got his start in New Orleans and began playing professionally on Bourbon Street when he was in his teens. He went on to tour nationally, but garnered fame in 1957 when he joined The Lawrence Welk Show as a headliner. He stayed with the show until 1959, then opened his first Bourbon Street club the following year. He later moved to a larger location before starting a lengthy run at the Hilton in the 1970s.

In 1959, Fountain's recording of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" sold more than a half-million copies. Fittingly, his autobiography was titled A Closer Walk.

Fountain died August 6, 2016, in New Orleans. He was 86.

 

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