I only came across this piece a couple of years ago on a BBC programme "Later with Jools". Chris Barber band played it, solo on clarinet. I head it live a few months later and this band also featured clarinet soloist. I'd only bought my soprano aroudn this time and was jamming along to TV recording. Only when I went looking for a chart did I discover it was a Sidney Bechet piece and his recordings I've heard are only on soprano. I like the youtube arrangement.
I'm just a couple of years older than Bruce and I remember this tune being very popular back in the '58-'60 year frame when I was in high school. Those were the days when songs were ranked in the "top 40s" and PF was right up there with the best. Obviously we had superior culture back then!
The recording of PF that sold in shiploads all over the world was by the great Monty Sunshine, and although it says Chris Barber on the label, the trombonist Barber had nothing to do with it, although I believe he and the Bechet estate got all cash.I understand that Monty's beautiful clarinet playing earned him £3.10.0. Heaven knows how much Barber got.Sidney apparently got the idea for PF when he was sitting on the w.c. and called his wife for his sop,and when his ablutions were finished, so was that stunning melody.This is all according to John Chilton's book, "The Wizard Of Jazz" If the information is correct Monty got $5 for literally millions of record sales !! Same goes for the banjo player with Barber who made Rock Island Line-his name was Lonnie Donegan-and he got £3.10.0 for selling shed loads of discs.
Monty Sunshine's track was a hit in Australia, while the Bechet "original" was not heard much. Old Monty, a lovely chap to talk to, told this sort of tale constantly. He was the loudest clarinet player ever! At Edinburgh Jazz fest in 1988, I played in a Aussie band. Monty played along with and over a full pipe band going flat out at the opening ball. He used a Brilhart Britone, white, as I had when young.
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