WBUR News

World Cafe Remembers Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Allen Toussaint. (Courtesy of the artist)

Allen Toussaint, one of the giants of New Orleans music, died Monday in Spain after suffering a heart attack. The 77-year-old songwriter collapsed backstage after performing a concert. Video of the show itself shows him in his usual exceptional form.

Starting in the early 1960s, Toussaint made some of the Crescent City's finest music. Early on, he wrote and produced Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-In Law" and numerous hits for his main inspiration, the great Lee Dorsey. At Minit Records, Toussaint wrote hits for Benny Spellman, Irma Thomas and others, including songs later covered by Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones. He was in the studio for the making of New Orleans masterpieces by Dr. John and The Meters, and had chart-topping songs by Labelle, Glen Campbell and The Pointer Sisters.

In this segment, we'll play as many of Toussaint's tunes as we can fit, as well as part of a 2006 interview, as World Cafe pays tribute to the great musician.

Spotify Playlist: Allen Toussaint, A Musical Tribute

Copyright NPR 2016.

Share

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More NPR or Explore Audio.