Join SA Current Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Allen Toussaint Leaves Us ... With Some Incredible Music

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 2:27 PM

click to enlarge Toussaint, a man who could "make the piano sing" - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Toussaint, a man who could "make the piano sing"

Allen Toussaint, one of the Crescent City's finest, took that last long walk early Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack following a gig in Spain. 

Toussaint is one of those elite masters of his craft that isn't necessary a household name, until you start discussing his contributions to popular music - then folks get on that Toussaint tip!

Toussaint penned such classics as "Fortune Teller," made popular by Benny Spellman and covered by The Rolling Stones, as well as "Working in the Coal Mine," which I share as my motherfucking JAM! with anyone who can dig it, and "Southern Nights," which kills me every time, to name but a select few.

He was a producer, composer, arranger and musician in New Orleans throughout the '60s and '70s, writing and producing hits for the likes of Irma Thomas, The Neville BrothersDr. John, The Meters, The Showmen, Lee Dorsey ("working in the Coal Mine") and Ernie K-Doe.

He wrote "Ruler of my Heart" for Irma Thomas, which was eventually covered by Otis Redding, "The Big O," under the title "Pain in my Heart," which could bring any grown man who has ever loved and lost, or dreams of one day doing so, to cry like a babe.

My first conscious introduction to Toussaint was on the '73 Dr. John record, produced by Toussaint and backed by The Meters, In the Right Place, which featured one bad number penned by Toussaint and featuring his vocals and piano work entitled, "Life." Which, with its tear-dropping lyrics and panty-dropping beat, is the perfect gumbo of pain and pleasure.

One upside of the passing of one of NOLA's finest musicians and keepers of that funky ol' flame called rock 'n' roll is that, in true N'awlins fashion, his funeral parade - a low, lonesome dirge to the cemetery and a loud, raucous jubilee leaving - is sure to be one for the ages, as any Louisiana musician that is worth their salt will most likely be in attendance. Stay killer, Allen. You bad mother, you. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 20, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation