29 Facts About Allen Toussaint

1.

Allen Richard Toussaint was an American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer.

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2.

Allen Toussaint was an influential figure in New Orleans rhythm and blues from the 1950s to the end of the century, described as "one of popular music's great backroom figures".

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3.

Allen Toussaint was a producer for hundreds of recordings, among the best known of which are "Right Place, Wrong Time", by his longtime friend Dr John, and "Lady Marmalade" by Labelle.

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4.

Youngest of three children, Allen Toussaint was born in 1938 in New Orleans and grew up in a shotgun house in the Gert Town neighborhood, where his mother, Naomi Neville, welcomed and fed all manner of musicians as they practiced and recorded with her son.

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5.

Allen Toussaint learned piano as a child and took informal music lessons from an elderly neighbor, Ernest Pinn.

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6.

Allen Toussaint's first recording was in 1957 as a stand-in for Fats Domino on Domino's record "I Want You to Know", on which Toussaint played piano and Domino overdubbed his vocals.

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7.

Allen Toussaint began performing regularly in Bartholomew's band, and he recorded with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Lee Allen and other leading New Orleans performers.

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8.

Allen Toussaint credited about twenty songs to his parents, Clarence and Naomi, sometimes using the pseudonym "Naomi Neville".

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9.

Allen Toussaint was drafted into the United States Army in 1963 but continued to record when on leave.

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10.

Dorsey had hits with several of Allen Toussaint's songs, including "Ride Your Pony", "Working in the Coal Mine" (1966), and "Holy Cow" (1966).

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11.

The Allen Toussaint-produced records of these years backed by the members of the Meters, with their increasing use of syncopation and electric instrumentation, built on the influences of Professor Longhair and others before them, but updated these strands, effectively paving the way for the development of a modern New Orleans funk sound.

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12.

Allen Toussaint continued to produce The Meters when they began releasing records under their own name in 1969.

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13.

Allen Toussaint arranged horn music for The Band's albums Cahoots and Rock of Ages (1972), as well as for the documentary film The Last Waltz (1978).

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14.

Allen Toussaint began recording under his own name, contributing vocals as well as piano.

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15.

Allen Toussaint initially sought shelter at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel on Canal Street.

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16.

Allen Toussaint performed regularly at Joe's Pub in New York City through 2009.

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17.

Allen Toussaint eventually returned to New Orleans and lived there for the rest of his life.

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18.

Allen Toussaint performed "Tipitina" in a piano duo with Jon Cleary, and accompanied Irma Thomas on "Old Records", Lloyd Price on "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", and Bonnie Raitt on "What is Success".

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19.

In 2007, Allen Toussaint performed a duet with Paul McCartney of a song by New Orleans musician and resident Fats Domino, "I Want to Walk You Home", as their contribution to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino.

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20.

In February 2008, Allen Toussaint appeared on Le Show, the Harry Shearer show broadcast on KCRW.

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21.

Allen Toussaint appeared in London in August 2008, where he performed at the Roundhouse.

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22.

Allen Toussaint performed instrumentals from his album The Bright Mississippi and many of his older songs for a taping of the PBS series Austin City Limits, which aired on January 9, 2015.

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23.

Allen Toussaint appeared on Eric Clapton's 2010 album, Clapton, in two Fats Waller covers, "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" and "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful".

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24.

Allen Toussaint was a musical mentor to Swedish-born New Orleans songwriter and performer Theresa Andersson.

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25.

Allen Toussaint died in the early hours of November 10, 2015, in Madrid, Spain, while on tour.

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26.

Allen Toussaint's final recording, American Tunes, titled after the Paul Simon song, which he sings on the album, was released by Nonesuch Records on June 10, 2016.

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27.

Allen Toussaint was survived by his three children, Clarence, Naomi, and Alison, and several grandchildren.

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28.

Allen Toussaint had written so many songs, over more than five decades, that he admitted to forgetting quite a few.

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29.

Allen Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009, the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.

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