Doc: Pete Fountain

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Most people who grew up in the rock era viewed clarinetist Pete Fountain the same way they did Al Hirt—a bearded New Orleans traditional jazz player who turned up on lots of variety shows in the late 1960s and '70s, and whose pop and honky-tonk albums were marketed largely to older folks with a bland taste in music. All of which, of course, is unfair.

As the following documentary sent along by reader Les Johnston shows, Fountain, who died in August at 86, was quite a tiger:

Here's Pete!, a PBS special narrated by Larry King that aired in 1980 (with a cameos and sharp insights by Doug Ramsey)...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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