R.I.P. Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint passed away earlier this month. This article is a fine tribute.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mr. Toussaint back in 1993, when I was working at a radio station and got to be the on-stage host for the Cincinnati stop of an “In Their Own Words” songwriters tour featuring 4 performers doing acoustic tunes and answering questions about their craft. Allen was part of a quartet that also included Guy Clark, Joe Ely and Michelle Shocked. He was the epitome of grace, class, humility and charm.

Most of his work was behind the scenes – writing songs for other performers, playing sessions, producing other artists – so he doesn’t get nearly the ¬†credit he deserves. (He was even covered by Devo!) The article referenced above says, “he was arguably the greatest songwriter/producer to ever come out of New Orleans.” To me, there’s no argument – Allen Toussaint reigns supreme.

 

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