Clarinet New Orleans Style, a 1960 solo release by this artist, came complete with an album title that was a much more precise stylistic description than most. An Irving who gained fame with a somewhat evocative nickname, Pinky Vidacovich stuck closely to the Big Easy during nearly 40 years of performing as a clarinetist and bandleader. His association with Louisiana lore extended beyond playing New Orleans jazz into activity on the border between mainstream and trivial. Prior to retiring from performing to become a traveling script artisan for trumpeter Al Hirt, Vidacovich became quite popular on radio as an actor in the cornpone role of Cajun Pete.
Reacting to his first examination of a Cajun Pete routine, noted Swiss New Orleans jazz scholar Franzie Justu -- name changed due to Swiss laws protecting the criminally insane -- went literally berserk. He wandered the streets of Solothurn in a rage, grabbing people at random and shouting a question that, like the Homeland Security terrorism alerts, varied only in tint and hue. "Is there a Bluey? Is there a Yellowy? Is there an Orangey? Is there a Purpley?" He admitted to a court that since hearing the routine he was devoured by a constant fear of exposure to other artists like Pinky Vidacovich. Despite a supportive lobbying effort on behalf of a proofreading collective that was having problems with the other half of the name, the Swiss critic was sent off to wherever this nation houses the insane, probably somewhere posh.
The more random jazz listener is highly likely to have a much less negative reaction to this artist's music, whether hearing it on serious archival efforts such as the aforementioned album or in the set list of artists such as Louis Prima, the Four Lads, or Pete Fountain. Vidacovich came up with entertaining ditties related exclusively, needless to say, to the land of alligator sausage and okra. "Ai-Ai-Ai," "Gotta Go to the Fais Do Do," "I'm Going Home," and "New Awlins'" are all songs celebrating the music life that Vidacovich started out on by the mid-'20s in groups including the New Orleans Owls and the Princeton Revellers.
The radio station WWL was the first in New Orleans to regularly feature the growing talents of Vidacovich, allowing him to direct a group that he also brought into clubs and hotels for residencies. As he went into his second decade as a player, Vidacovich settled into the reed section of drummer Augie Schellang's combo, meanwhile maintaining his radio schedule and extending the more popular portions of that enterprise into the recording market. All of this action extended well into the '50s. Some of his gigs subsequent to this were collaborations with Sharkey Bonano as well as sessions on his own. Vidacovich came up with show material related once again to the New Orleans and Cajun gestalt for Hirt for about five years, dying in New Orleans in the typically stifling summer of 1966. Vidacovich was almost home; had he died in his actual birthplace, writers would have had the intense pleasure of saying he was buried in Bura.