In this touching tribute to Pete Fountain, Gregory Harrison examines the personal career and life of famed jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain. Chronicling the different periods of Pete’s life, Harrison presents how he became a national icon. Fountain has been featured in every New Orleans Super Bowl, performed for the Catholic pope, had multiple appearances on television, and served as a musical ambassador for the United States. Harrison also took time to examine Fountain’s physical approach to the instrument by examining his posture and stage presence in various appearances on the Lawrence Welk Show. Indeed, Fountain’s contribution to the clarinet world was evident in his popularity.
At the end of the lecture, Harrison performed Jimmie Davis’ and Charles Mitchell’s popular tune “You Are My Sunshine.” In a moving tribute, the entire audience honored Maestro Fountain in a standing ovation. Bravo, Maestro Fountain!
–Notes By Dr. Victor Chavez, Jr.
Dr. Victor Chavez, Jr. teaches at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville as Lecturer in Clarinet and currently performs with the Tri-Cities Opera Company in Binghamton, New York.