A CLOSER WALK: The Pete Fountain Story by Pete & Bill Neely Fountain

A CLOSER WALK: The Pete Fountain Story

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It should be called: ""how all my boyhood dreams came true and I became a rich and famous jazz musician."" Fountain, born in New Orleans ten years after Dixieland had peaked; tries to invest his very prosaic success story with some of the glamour of Satchmo and the other New Orleans legends but he keeps right on being the nice, wholesome, middle-class boy who made it big with Lawrence Welk's bubbles. It seems he first began to blow the clarinet after the doctor prescribed a musical instrument for his weak lungs. From then on he knew he wanted to be another Benny Goodman and he practiced, practiced, practiced, joined the school band, played at football games and Mardi Gras, hung around Bourbon Street and finally, age 16, started his own band. ""A musician's life is certainly no bed of roses"" -- but it's better to come up smelling that way so he was very irate when some wicked fan offered him a marijuana cigarette though he's not as straight-laced as ""Mr. Welk"" who disapproves of beards and drinking liquor. Once, in the pre-Welk days when he was drinking too much he gave it all up and went to work for Miller and Killer, the exterminators, but pretty soon he was down on Bourbon Street blowing away once again. We hope it was a less tinny sound than this chock-full-of-cliches book.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Regnery