Pete Fountain's birthday is coming up and I just wanted to wish him a happy one. I don't know him personally, I have just been a dedicated fan since I picked up my first clarinet.
Here are some tidbits from Wikipedia...
Pierre Dewey LaFontaine, Jr. (born July 3, 1930), is a New Orleans clarinetist. According to a Belgian radio program ("La troisieme oreille", produced by Marc Danval) his name was originally Pierre de la Fontaine.
Pete Fountain was born in New Orleans and started playing clarinet, heavily influenced first by Benny Goodman and then by Irving Fazola. Early on he played with the bands of Monk Hazel and Al Hirt. With his long time friend, trumpeter George Girard, Fountain founded The Basin Street Six in 1950. After this band broke up four years later Fountain was hired to join the Lawrence Welk band, and became well known for the many solos he took on Welk's ABC television show, The Lawrence Welk Show. Fountain returned to New Orleans, played with The Dukes of Dixieland, then began leading bands under his own name, owning his own club in the French Quarter in the 1960s and 1970s. He later acquired "Pete Fountain's Jazz Club" at the Riverside Hilton in downtown New Orleans.