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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mr. New Orleans.

I just  learned that Pete Fountain, the great jazz clarinetist,  has died in New Orleans.
I have only seen one obit so far.
From The Advocate in New Orleans.
In it, it refers to him as both 83 and 86.
That's how it is with obituaries.
You always find more than one age listed.
But not usually in the same obit.
We are getting more and more careless.
And Pete Fountain certainly deserved better than that.
Oh...another one has popped up confirming 86.
Pete Fountain has been one of my all-time favorites for as far back as I can remember.
No one had his touch.
Benny Goodman came close,  but was more inhibited.
Artie Shaw was more of a serious musician.
Woody Herman just didn't have the same set of chops.
Pete Fountain had a level of exuberance in his playing and command of his instrument that nobody else had.
My favorite of his albums, of which I have almost all, is "Mr. New Orleans"
A dozen up tunes, all in the same march tempo.
If you don't have it, get it.
Or at least listen to it on Spotify.

He appeared on the Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" 59 times, or 62, depending on which obituary you believe.
Now that Carson is back on in reruns I hope I get to see most if not all of these appearances.
On my one trip to New Orleans, I was just tagging along on one of my wife's business trips.
I told her that we must make a beeline to Pete Fountain's Club, praying that he was in town.
He was, and we went, and he simply blew the roof off of the dump.
It was sensational.
He had a rare foray into vocals.
Herewith are his lyrics to the old standard "You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now":

"You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart
You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Sweetheart Now
Nobody's Sweetheart Now-ow-ow-ow,
You're Nobody's Sweetheart Now,
Because you're Nobody's Sweetheart Now."

What's better than that? 
They don't sing 'em like that anymore.  What a hoot.
I have that someplace.  I'd have to dig it up.

There will be a traditional Jazz Funeral after the mass in the French Quarter in New Orleans.
If I was able to walk better, I'd have already made my travel plans to participate in it.
But my marching days are behind me.

R.I.P.,  Pete.

My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.


  1. Semi-off-topic:

    My long-standing rule for obituary-reading is that when you read obits that give two different ages for the decedent, the oldest one is likely the correct one.

    A while back, when Charles Lane passed on, the official obits had him at 101.
    When I got into film buffery as a teenager, I started getting reference books - big, weighty ones, way more expensive than I could afford at the time.
    In nearly all the ones that came out before the '80s, Charles Lane's year of birth was given as 1899.
    When Charles Lane appeared on David Letterman's NBC show, Dave asked his age, and Lane
    answered that he was somewhere in his 80s; with the '99 birthdate, he would have been past 90 at that point.
    I nodded; even then, performers had a long tradition of revising their birthdates downward in order to prolong their shelf lives.
    But that info stuck with me.
    If the 1899 DOB for Charles Lane is the right one, that means when Lane passed on, he would have been 107.
    I guess ageism never ends ...

    Off-topic, but I just thought I'd pass it along ...

    (I loved Pete Fountain too ...)

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."