Remembering Allen Toussaint

Photo by Amy Chambless

Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint has died at the age of 77, according to the Associated Press. He suffered a heart attack in his hotel room in Madrid, Spain early Tuesday morning.

Toussaint penned a number of hits, including “Working In A Coal Mine” (covered by Lee Dorsey and Devo) and “Fortune Teller” (covered by the Rolling Stones and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss). Since the 1950s, he has collaborated and performed with hundreds of artists, including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, the Band, Dr. John, the Meters, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, and many more.

Toussaint was a frequent guest to KUT and later KUTX, recording multiple performances in Studio 1A. His set on March 18, 2006 is a particular highlight: Jay Trachtenberg talked with Toussaint about songwriting, Hurricane Katrina, and more, and Toussaint played a number of songs (including “Southern Nights”) alone on our grand piano. Listen to the performance and interview below, and watch Toussaint live in Studio 1A in 2012.

–Art Levy

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