All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint (born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. Many of Toussaint's songs have become familiar through their numerous cover versions, including “Working in the Coalmine”, “Ride Your Pony”, “Brickyard Blues”, “Get Out My Life Woman”, and “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”.

In the early 1960s he wrote and produced a string of hits for New Orleans R&B artists such as Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas, Art and Aaron Neville, The Showmen, and Lee Dorsey. Some of his songs from this period were published under the pseudonym Naomi Neville (”Ruler of My Heart”, recorded by Irma Thomas, is one example; the song would go on to be recorded by Otis Redding under the title “Pain in My Heart”.)

In the 1970s he switched gears to a funkier sound, writing and producing for The Meters, Dr John, and the Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians tribe. He also began to work with non-New Orleans artists such as Robert Palmer, Elkie Brooks, Solomon Burke, and Scottish Soul singer, Frankie Miller. He arranged horn music for The Band's 1971 album Cahoots, and arranged horn parts for their concert repertoire.

Toussaint also launched his own solo career, which peaked in the '70s with the albums From a Whisper to a Scream and Southern Nights. It was during this time that he teamed with Labelle, and produced their highly acclaimed “Nightbirds” album from 1975, that spawned the Number One Hit, “Lady Marmalade” Two years later, Glen Campbell covered Toussaint's “Southern Nights” and carried the song to Number One on the Pop, Country and Adult- Contemporary Charts. Along with many of his contemporaries, Toussaint found that interest in his compositions was rekindled when his work began to be sampled by hip hop artists in the 1980s and 1990s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Read more

Tags

Album Review
Live Review
Album Review
Read more articles

Photos

Albums

Watch

Similar

Dr. John Dr. John
piano
Dirty Dozen Brass Band Dirty Dozen Brass Band
band/orchestra
Earl King Earl King
guitar, electric
Irma Thomas Irma Thomas
voice / vocals
Eddie Bo Eddie Bo
piano
Lee Dorsey Lee Dorsey
voice / vocals
Aaron Neville Aaron Neville
voice / vocals
Smiley Lewis Smiley Lewis
voice / vocals
The Meters The Meters
band/orchestra

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.