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Andy Sherwood: Blog

My First Pete Fountain Record

Posted on March 11, 2012

I began playing the clarinet at the age of 10. My mother chose the clarinet for me because my older sister played violin, and my mother thought that the clarinet was an easier instrument. (After playing for 45 years now, I know that the clarinet is not easy.) One day my mother took me to a music store to pick out a clarinet. I was thrilled to look at it and touch the keys. Soon, I began taking private lessons. I really didn't know what I was doing, but I diligently worked at the exercises. At times my mother would tell me about this great jazz clarinetist, Pete Fountain. I didn't think much about it. About 6 months after I began taking lessons my mother bought me a Pete Fountain record. The record had a Dixieland band on it, and occasionally the clarinet would take a solo. I didn't understand it at first, but soon I was picking up the needle on the phonograph and moving it to the clarinet solo parts. It got to the point where I new exactly where to place to needle to hear the clarinet.