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 "Country Clarinet" & "Pee Wee Plays Pretty"
Author: Dan Shusta 
Date:   2018-02-23 23:42

A while back, I posted a thread about "The Country Clarinet" and asked if it were a keyboard or a real clarinet that was providing the clarinet sound.

Well, while looking on YouTube (again) for country music being played on a clarinet, I came upon "Country Clarinet" with clarinet music being played by Pee Wee Spitelera. Now, I thought I recognized that name before while compiling the list of N.O. clarinetists and, sure enough, Pee Wee was Al Hirt's clarinetist. Due to the very low view numbers, I believe Pee Wee has produced a number of country songs that are relatively new on YouTube.

Before I list just a few of his songs, I would ask you to listen carefully to the background music and see if you can recognize it as being very similar to another N.O. clarinetist. (Pete Fountain)

So, to review, "The Country Clarinet" is Ernie Sanders and "Country Clarinet" is Pee Wee Spitelera.

From my point of view, the background music of "Country Clarinet" just totally blows away that found on "The Country Clarinet". Why? Because Pee Wee's background music is far more sophisticated and a real delight to listen to on my stereo headphones. And, more importantly, the clarinet music on "Country Clarinet" sounds as if it's being produced by a real clarinetist.

This may be old news to some of you, but, it is totally new to me.

A few songs from "Country Clarinet" with Pee Wee Spitelera playing:

1) Country Clarinet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1UWvcBOgSo

2) Bouquet of Roses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUMy8MTDAsI

3) I Love You Because https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6wpnz93YTc

Oh, man...I really love Pee Wee's style of playing!


p.s. I just got through viewing more of Pee Wee's songs and another "Album" title he uses is "Pee Wee Plays Pretty". This different title covers all kinds of music venues. So, it's not just country but more and interesting venues of music: Creole, The Blues, etc.

Post Edited (2018-02-23 23:57)

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 Re: "Country Clarinet" & "Pee Wee Plays Pretty"
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2018-02-24 00:38


Thanks for the links! For those of us non-New-Orleanians out here, I think Pee Wee's playing is oft-missed. Between having the same moniker as another great clarinetist, plus an overlap in New Orleans with the great Pete Fountain...I came late to the party in knowing the name Pee Wee Spitelera.

Years ago, on some of the CDs released as Al Hirt/Pete Fountain combinations (which, when I had purchased, I had assumed that Pete Fountain played in the recordings with Al's band, and Al played trumpet in Pete's recordings), I soon realized that I was listening to two distinctly different bands, with two distinctly different clarinetists and trumpeters. So, I read through the liner notes, and was introduced to Pee Wee.

I'm not Pee Wee's biggest fan, but I do think he is under-represented. I think at many other time frames in American history, he might have even been the go-to-guy for jazz/pop clarinet...but he came through during a very competitive time...when the clarinet was fairly popular.

The recordings you share remind me of some of the pop albums Pete released on the Coral label during the same time frame.

Another clarinetist, Lester Bouchon, fell into that "Huh! Why have I never heard of this guy before" category for me too. He played a lot of saxophone...and was good...but I prefer his clarinet playing with Sharkey Bonano and Santo Pecora. Here's a live recording (though I must admit that I have another version of this song, and he plays a nearly identical solo - I really like the solo. ;^)>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5mc4X82RgU&t=9s

(Or, if that link disappears over the years: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=santo+pecora+over+the+waves)


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