Allen Toussaint

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Essential Albums

  • Southern Nights

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About Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint’s impact on the history of New Orleans music is immeasurable. Born in the Big Easy in 1938, Toussaint was still a teen when he began working with local legends like Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. He was soon writing, producing, and performing for a huge range of acts, and he scored an early hit in 1966 with “Working In the Coal Mine,” one of his many songs for Lee Dorsey. He also forged the sound of New Orleans funk in his ‘60s and ‘70s work with Dr. John, The Meters, and LaBelle. His swaggering yet laidback take on soul, jazz, and funk is just as distinctive on solo efforts like 1975’s Southern Nights. His collaboration with Elvis Costello on 2006’s The River In Reverse was another testament to the creativity and productivity that were hallmarks of Toussaint’s career up until his death in 2015.


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