New Orleans R&B Architect
He is one of America’s greatest musical treasures. As singer, pianist, songwriter, arranger and producer, the New Orleans native has been making hit records for over forty years. His massive influence on American music reaches deep into the roots of R&B, pop, country, blues and jazz.
Toussaint has been part of the New Orleans musical landscape since the 1950s. Already a veteran of Earl King’s band at 17, he was hired to play piano parts for some Fats Domino recordings. This quickly led to Toussaint becoming a fixture in local studios. In no time he was writing, producing, arranging and sometimes performing on hits for Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas, Art and Aaron Neville, Chris Kenner, Jessie Hill and Benny Spellman, to name but a few.
In the late 1960s Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn formed Sansu Enterprises, producing an amazing string of hits with artists like Lee Dorsey and The Meters. Toussaint lent his signature sound to some seminal recordings of the funk/disco era, producing the Dr. John hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” and LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.”
His resume is staggering: the man who wrote “Working in a Coal Mine” and “Mother in Law” also produced innumerable hits and wrote horn parts for Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” and The Band’s “Rock of Ages,” to name a few.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“when I meet someone like Allen Toussaint – that for me is like meeting, you know, someone the equivalent of the Dalai Lama because for me, he influenced the way I played the piano, he’s a historical part of rock and roll.” - Elton John
“In a career that has spanned nearly half the century, Allen Toussaint has exerted an unparalleled influence over the New Orleans music scene.”
– New Orleans Times Picayune