Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b Alois Maxwell Hirt, 7 Nov. '22, New Orleans LA; d there 27 April '99) Trumpet, combo leader. His father a policeman, he played in the Junior Police band; studied formally; served in US Army, worked in Dorsey Brothers band, with Ray McKinley, Horace Heidt; eight years on staff at a New Orleans radio station; then formed combo with excellent clarinettist Pete Fountain (b 3 July '30, New Orleans; with Lawrence Welk on TV '57-9; twelve chart LPs on Coral '60-69 incl. Pete Fountain's New Orleans '60, Bourbon Street '62 with Hirt; also For The First Time with Brenda Lee on Decca '68). Hirt's first LPs on Coral included Fountain; then he became a household name on TV and as tourist attraction: 17 chart LPs on RCA '61-8 incl. Honey In The Horn (with Anita Kerr Singers on some tracks), Cotton Candy and Sugar Lips '63-4, all top ten; also Beauty And The Beard with Ann-Margret '64, Pops Goes The Trumpet with the Boston Pops Orchestra '65, etc. Hirt's combo tantalized music lovers because they were obviously capable of more; even Miles Davis had kind words about his playing in a blindfold test, but he settled for a comfortable niche and made plenty of fans happy. Hirt had CDs on ProJazz, RCA and Monument, including several with saxophonist Ace Cannon (b 5 May '34, Grenada MS; played with the Bill Black Combo); Fountain's are on Decca, Ranwood and other labels; Super Jazz on Monument has both Hirt and Fountain.