Friday, November 13, 2015

A00584 - Allen Toussaint, The Soul of New Orleans


Allen Toussaint at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2010. CreditSkip Bolen/European Pressphoto Agency

Allen Toussaint, the versatile producer, songwriter, pianist and singer who was a fixture of New Orleans R&B, died after appearing in concert in Madrid on Monday night. He was 77.

Alison Toussaint-LeBeaux, his daughter, confirmed his death. Javier Ayuso, a spokesman for Madrid emergency services, told The Associated Press that rescue workers had been called to Mr. Toussaint’s hotel early Tuesday and were able to revive him after a heart attack, but that Mr. Toussaint later stopped breathing en route to a hospital.
In concert, in the studio or around his beloved New Orleans, Mr. Toussaint (pronounced too-SAHNT) was a soft-spoken embodiment of the city’s musical traditions, revered as one of the master craftsmen of 20th-century American pop.
“In the pantheon of New Orleans music people, from Jelly Roll Morton to Mahalia Jackson to Fats — that’s the place where Allen Toussaint is in,” said Quint Davis, the longtime producer of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where Mr. Toussaint played almost every year since the mid-1970s.
Mr. Toussaint’s career began when he was a teenager in the ’50s and his jaunty piano playing caught the ear of Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino’s producer. It continued to the present, with a late-blooming love for performing live and collaborating with rock and pop musicians like Elvis Costello.
Mr. Toussaint had his greatest impact in the ’60s and ’70s, when, as both songwriter and producer, he worked on records, like Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-in-Law,” Lee Dorsey’s “Working in the Coal Mine” and Jessie Hill’s “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” that described everyday pleasures and nuisances with empathy, wit and a loose, funky swing.
During the ’70s Mr. Toussaint’s studio, Sea-Saint, which he founded with the producer Marshall Sehorn, became renowned for recordings by the Meters, Dr. John and Labelle, and attracted international pop stars like Paul McCartney and Robert Palmer. Mr. Toussaint, then still a largely behind-the-scenes figure in music, also found his way to No. 1 on the pop charts in 1977 when Glen Campbell recorded a cover of his song “Southern Nights.”
Mr. Toussaint’s inspiration, he often said, was New Orleans itself, and over the years he became an unofficial musical ambassador for the city, where for decades he maintained a modest home in a middle-class neighborhood.
At Jazz Fest, as the Jazz and Heritage Festival is known, he usually performed in a bright and elaborately decorated coat. Even offstage, Mr. Toussaint had an eccentric dandy style; he drove a Rolls-Royce with the license plate PIANO and favored pinstriped suits and purple silk shirts paired with Birkenstock sandals.
“It’s who we are,” Mr. Toussaint said of New Orleans, in an interview last year published by the Red Bull Music Academy. “The food we eat, the history, Mardi Gras Indians who rehearse all year around, the second-line brass bands who strut that stuff, the syncopation, the humor, and the slightly slower pace than the rest of America — the way we mosey along rather than running the race.”
On Tuesday Paul Simon, with whom Mr. Toussaint was scheduled to give abenefit concert in New Orleans on Dec. 8, recalled their long history together, which goes back to recording sessions in the early ’70s, when Mr. Toussaint played piano for him and wrote chord charts for his musicians.
“We were friends and colleagues for almost 40 years,” Mr. Simon wrote in an email. “We played together at the New Orleans jazz festival. We played the benefits for Katrina relief. We were about to perform together on Dec. 8. I was just beginning to think about it; now I’ll have to think about his memorial. I am so sad.”
Allen Toussaint was born on Jan. 14, 1938, in Gert Town, a working-class neighborhood of New Orleans, to Clarence Toussaint, a railway worker, and the former Naomi Neville, whose names he occasionally used as songwriting pseudonyms. By his early teens he was playing piano with the guitarist Snooks Eaglin, and he got his first break when he substituted for the New Orleans bandleader and pianist Huey Piano Smith on tour in 1957.
The next year, Mr. Toussaint recorded “The Wild Sound of New Orleans,” an album of instrumentals released by RCA Victor under the name Tousan. It was no hit, but it later gave him a taste of success as a songwriter: One song on the album, “Java” — for which Mr. Toussaint shared credit with Alvin Tyler and Freddy Friday — was covered by the trumpeter Al Hirt in 1963 and reached No. 4 on the Billboard pop chart.
In 1960, Mr. Toussaint became the house producer, arranger and songwriter for the Minit label, where he worked with Irma Thomas, Aaron Neville, Benny Spellman and others. After serving in the Army from 1963 to 1965, he returned to music, establishing Sansu Enterprises, a publishing company and group of record labels, with Mr. Sehorn.
The sound that Mr. Toussaint developed in the ’60s built on the rollicking piano style of earlier New Orleans figures like Professor Longhair, with arrangements that melded deep R&B grooves with touches of pop.
“Allen was the crucible of New Orleans music,” said the producer Leo Sacks, who in the 1990s recorded a gospel singer, Raymond Myles, who was later signed to Mr. Toussaint’s NYNO label. “Allen’s call-and-response choruses were catchy and clever, his harmonics were rich and gospel-flavored. And no one had his handiness with a hook.”
Many of Mr. Toussaint’s songs would eventually be covered widely, including “Fortune Teller,” which became a standard among British Invasion rock bands in the mid-’60s; it was recorded by the Who and the Rolling Stones, among others.
“I was so glad when the Stones recorded my song,” Mr. Toussaint once told an interviewer. “I knew they would know how to roll it all the way to the bank.”
During the ’70s Mr. Toussaint recorded three albums for labels under the Warner Bros. umbrella, but the popularity of his style of R&B waned with the rise of disco. He continued to write and record for independent labels, and in 1998 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Toussaint’s career took another turn when herelocated to New York. He began to make regular appearances at Joe’s Pub, the intimate East Village nightclub, and recorded “The River in Reverse,” a collaboration with Mr. Costello that was a response to the hurricane and the destruction of New Orleans. He also toured with Mr. Costello, an experience that inspired him to play concerts much more widely than he ever had before, according to Mr. Davis of Jazz Fest.
“The River in Reverse” was nominated for a Grammy Award for best pop vocal album, but it did not win; Mr. Toussaint’s only Grammy was a Trustees Award, a career prize, in 2009. In 2013, he was awarded theNational Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House.
In addition to his daughter Alison, Mr. Toussaint’s survivors include another daughter, Naomi Rios; a son, Clarence Reginald; a brother, Vincent; and six grandchildren.
Mr. Toussaint eventually returned to New Orleans, where he preferred to keep a low public profile.
“I’m not accustomed to talking about myself,” he once said, according to his website. “I talk in the studio with musicians. Or through my songs.”


Allen Toussaint (/ˈtsɑːnt/; January 14, 1938 – November 10, 2015) was an American musiciansongwriterarranger and record producer, who was an influential figure in New Orleans R&B from the 1950s to the end of the century, described as "one of popular music’s great backroom figures."[1] Many other musicians recorded Toussaint's compositions, including "Java", "Mother-in-Law", "I Like It Like That", "Fortune Teller", "Ride Your Pony", "Get Out of My Life, Woman", "Working in the Coal Mine", "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky", "Here Come the Girls", "Yes We Can Can", "Play Something Sweet", and "Southern Nights". As a producer, his credits includedDr John’s hit "Right Place, Wrong Time", and Labelle's "Lady Marmalade".
External video
 Oral History, Allen Toussaint speaks about songwriting and creating music. Interview on March 20, 2015 by NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library


Early life and career[edit]

One of three children, Toussaint was born in 1938 at New Orleans and grew up in a shotgun house in the Gert Town neighborhood, where his mother, Naomi Neville (whose name he later adopted pseudonymously for some of his works), welcomed and fed all manner of musicians as they practiced and recorded with her son. His father, Clarence worked on the railway and played trumpet.[1] Allen Toussaint learned piano as a child, and took informal music lessons from an elderly neighbor, Ernest Pinn.[2] In his teens he played in a band, the Flamingos, with guitarist Snooks Eaglin,[3] before dropping out of school. A significant early influence on Toussaint was thesyncopated "second-line" piano style of Professor Longhair.[4]
After a lucky break at age 17, in which he stood in for Huey "Piano" Smith at a performance with Earl King's band in Prichard, Alabama,[5] Toussaint was introduced to a group of local musicians led by Dave Bartholomew who performed regularly at a night club, the Dew Drop Inn, on Lasalle Street in Uptown.[6] His first recording was in 1957 as a stand-in for Fats Domino on Domino's record, "I Want You to Know", on which Toussaint played piano and Domino overdubbed his vocals.[2] His first success as a producer also came in 1957, with Allen's "Walking With Mr. Lee."[1] He began performing regularly in Bartholomew's band, and recorded with Fats Domino, Smiley LewisLee Allen and other leading New Orleans performers.[3]
After being spotted as a sideman by A&R man Danny Kessler, he initially recorded for RCA Records as Al Tousan. In early 1958 he recorded an album of instrumentals,The Wild Sound of New Orleans, with a band including Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax), either Nat Perrilliat or Lee Allen (tenor sax), either Justin Adams or Roy Montrell(guitar), Frank Fields (bass), and Charles "Hungry" Williams (drums).[7] The recordings included Toussaint and Tyler's composition "Java", which first charted for Floyd Cramer in 1962 and became a #4 pop hit for Al Hirt (also on RCA) in 1964.[8]

Success in the 1960s[edit]

In 1960, Joe Banashak of Minit Records, and later Instant Records, hired Toussaint as A&R man and record producer.[2] He also did freelance work for other labels, such as Fury. Toussaint played piano, wrote, arranged and produced a string of hits in the early and mid 1960s for New Orleans R&B artists such as Ernie K-DoeChris KennerIrma ThomasArt and Aaron NevilleThe Showmen, and Lee Dorsey, whose first hit "Ya Ya" he produced, in 1961.[3][1]
The early to mid-1960s are regarded as Toussaint's most creatively successful period.[2] Notable examples of his work are Jessie Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" – written by Hill, and arranged and produced by Toussaint – Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-in-Law"; and Chris Kenner's "I Like It Like That". A two-sided 1962 hit by Benny Spellman comprised "Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)," later covered by The O'JaysRingo Starr, and Alex Chilton; and the simple but effective "Fortune Teller", which was covered by many 1960s rock groups including The Rolling Stones, The Nashville TeensThe WhoThe HolliesThe Throb, and ex-Searchers founder member Tony Jackson. "Ruler of My Heart", first recorded by Irma Thomas, was subsequently recorded by Otis Redding under the title "Pain in My Heart", and by The Rolling Stones on their second album. In 1964, "A Certain Girl" (originally by Ernie K-Doe) was the B-side of the first single release by The Yardbirds; the song was released again in 1980 by Warren Zevon.
Toussaint credited about twenty songs to his parents, Clarence and Naomi.[9][10] These include Benny Spellman's 1961 original version of "Fortune Teller" and The Artwoods' 1966 version of "Work, Work, Work". In 2007 Alison Krauss and Robert Plant covered "Fortune Teller" on their album Raising Sand. He also wrote songs credited as Allen Orange.[11]
Toussaint was drafted into the US Army in 1963, but continued to record when on leave.[12] After his discharge in 1965, he joined forces with Marshall Sehorn. They started their own record label variously known as Tou-Sea, Sansu, Deesu or Kansu, and recorded with Lee Dorsey, Chris Kenner, Betty Harris and others. Dorsey had hits with several of Toussaint's songs, including "Ride Your Pony" (1965), "Working in the Coal Mine" (1966), and "Holy Cow" (1966).[3]

The 1970s to 1990s[edit]

Words and music by Allen Toussaint, from John Mayall's 1976 album Notice to Appear

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Toussaint also began working with The Meters, originally as session musicians and they acted as the house band for his soul classics of the 1960s, including Lee Dorsey's "Ride Your Pony". He continued to produce them when they released records under the band name. Starting in the 1970s, he switched gears to a funkier sound, writing and producing for the Meters, Dr. John, and The Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians tribe. One of his compositions, "Here Come the Girls", recorded by Ernie K-Doe in 1970, formed the basis of the Sugababes' 2008 hit "Girls".[13]
He also began to work with non-New Orleans artists such as B. J. ThomasRobert PalmerWilly DeVilleSandy DennyElkie BrooksSolomon Burke, Scottish soul singer Frankie Miller (High Life) and southern rocker Mylon LeFevre.[14][15] He arranged horn music for The Band's 1971 album Cahoots, plus Rock of Ages andThe Last Waltz film, in conjunction with arranging horn parts for their concert repertoire. Boz Scaggs recorded Toussaint's "What Do You Want the Girl to Do?" on his 1976 album Silk Degrees, which reached #2 on the U.S. pop albums chart. The song was also recorded by Bonnie Raitt for her 1975 album Home Plate, and later by Geoff Muldaur (1976), Lowell George (1979), Vince Gill (1993) and Elvis Costello (2005).[16] In 1976 he also collaborated with John Mayall on the album Notice to Appear.[17]
In 1973 Toussaint and Sehorn created the Sea-Saint recording studio in Gentilly.[18][19] Toussaint also began recording under his own name, contributing vocals as well as piano. His solo career peaked in the mid-1970s with the albums From a Whisper to a Scream and Southern Nights. It was during this time that he teamed with Labelle, and produced their highly acclaimed 1975 album Nightbirds, which spawned the number one hit, "Lady Marmalade". The same year, Toussaint collaborated with Paul McCartney and Wings for their hit album Venus and Mars and played on the song Rock Show. Two years later, Glen Campbell covered Toussaint's "Southern Nights" and carried the song to number one on the Pop, Country and Adult-Contemporary charts.[20]
In 1987, he was the musical director for an off Broadway show, Staggerlee, which ran for 150 performances.[2] Along with many of his contemporaries, Toussaint found that interest in his compositions was rekindled when his work began to be sampled by hip hop artists in the 1980s and 1990s.[21][22]


Toussaint performing in Stockholmin 2009
Toussaint weathered the 2005 Hurricane Katrina in the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel. After the hurricane he left New Orleans for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and eventually settled inNew York City. His first television appearance after the hurricane was on the September 7, 2005 episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, sitting in with Paul Shafferand his CBS Orchestra. Toussaint performed regularly at Joe's Pub in New York City through 2009.[23]
The River in Reverse, Toussaint's collaborative album with Elvis Costello, was released on May 29, 2006, in the UK on the Verve label by Universal Classics and Jazz UCJ. It was recorded in Hollywood and, notably, in Toussaint's native New Orleans as the first major studio session to take place after Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, Toussaint performed a duet with Paul McCartney of a song by fellow New Orleans musician and resident Fats Domino, "I Want to Walk You Home", as their contribution to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (Vanguard).[24]
In 2008, Toussaint's song "Sweet Touch of Love" was used in a deodorant commercial for the Axe (Lynx) brand. The commercial won a Gold Lion at the 2008 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In February 2008, Toussaint appeared on Le Show, the Harry Shearer show broadcast on KCRW. He appeared in London in August 2008, where he performed a gig at the Roundhouse.[25] In October 2008 he performed at Festival New Orleans at The O2 alongside acts such as Dr. John and Buckwheat Zydeco.[26] Sponsored by Quint Davis of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Philip Anschutz, the event was intended to promote New Orleans music and culture and to revive the once-lucrative tourist trade that had been almost completely lost following the flooding that came with Hurricane Katrina.[26] After his second performance at the festival, Toussaint appeared alongside then-Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu. The following day, he performed again in London at the NFL Tailgate Party.[citation needed]
Toussaint performed for a taping of the PBS series Austin City Limits on June 30, 2009, during the show's 35th anniversary season. He played instrumentals from his then-recent album, "The Bright Mississippi", as well as many songs from his back catalog. He performed with Levon Helm and his band on Imus in the Morning on October 9, 2009. In December 2009, he was featured on Elvis Costello's Spectacle program on theSundance Channel, singing "A Certain Girl". Toussaint appeared on Eric Clapton's 2010 album, Clapton, in two Fats Waller covers, "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" and "When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful".[27]
His late-blooming career as a performer began when he accepted an offer to play a regular Sunday brunch session at an East Village pub. Interviewed in 2014 by The Guardian's Richard Williams, he said: "I never thought of myself as a performer ... My comfort zone is behind the scenes." In 2013 he collaborated on a ballet with the choreographer Twyla Tharp.[12] Toussaint was a musical mentor to Swedish-born New Orleans songwriter and performer Theresa Andersson.[28]


Allen Toussaint receiving theNational Medal of Arts in 2013
In 1998 Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2009 into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. On May 9, 2011, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.[29]


Toussaint died in the early hours of November 10, 2015, while in MadridSpain, on tour. Following a concert at the Teatro Lara on Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, he suffered a heart attack at his hotel and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.[30] He was 77. He had been due to perform in a sell-out concert at the EFG London Jazz Festival at The Barbican on November 15 with his band and Theo Croker. He was also to play with Paul Simon at a benefit concert in New Orleans on 8 December.[4]
Toussaint’s two marriages ended in divorce.[4] He is survived by his two children, son Clarence (better known as Reginald) and daughter Alison, and by several grandchildren. His children had managed his career in recent years.[31][32]
Writing in The New York TimesBen Sisario quoted Quint Davis, producer of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: "In the pantheon of New Orleans music people, from Jelly Roll Morton to Mahalia Jackson toFats—that’s the place where Allen Toussaint is in". Paul Simon said: "We were friends and colleagues for almost 40 years . . . . We played together at the New Orleans jazz festival. We played the benefits for Katrina relief. We were about to perform together on December 8. I was just beginning to think about it; now I’ll have to think about his memorial. I am so sad."[33]
The Daily Telegraph described Toussaint as "a master of New Orleans soul and R&B, and one of America’s most successful songwriters and producers", adding that "self-effacing Toussaint played a crucial role in countless classic songs popularised by other artists". He had written so many songs, over more than five decades, that he admitted to forgetting quite a few.[4]




  • The Wild Sound of New Orleans (1958)
  • From a Whisper to a Scream (1970)
  • Toussaint (1971)
  • Life, Love and Faith (1972)
  • Southern Nights (1975)
  • Motion (1978)
  • I Love A Carnival Ball, Mr Mardi Gras Starring Allen Toussaint (1987)
  • The Allen Toussaint Collection (1991)
  • The Wild Sound of New Orleans: The Complete 'Tousan' Sessions (1994)
  • Connected (1996)
  • A New Orleans Christmas (1997)
  • A Taste Of New Orleans (1999)
  • Finger Poppin' & Stompin' Feet (2002)
  • Allen Toussaint's Jazzity Project: Going Places (2004)
  • The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (2005)
  • I Believe To My Soul (2005)
  • The River in Reverse, with Elvis Costello (2006)
  • The Bright Mississippi (2009)
  • Songbook (2013)

Other contributions as performer[edit]



Chart hit compositions[edit]

YearSong[11]Co-writer(s) with Toussaint, and notes[11]First chart recording[11]U.S. Pop[35]U.S. R&B[36]UK Singles Chart[37]Other charting versions,[11] and notes
1960"Over You"(Composition credited to Allen Orange)Aaron Neville-21--
1961"Mother-in-Law"-Ernie K-Doe11291965: The Kingsmen on the album The Kingsmen Volume 3
1973: Clarence Carter, #80 US pop, #24 R&B
"I Like It Like That"Chris KennerChris Kenner22-1965: The Dave Clark Five, #7 US pop
1966: The Kingsmen on the album The Kingsmen On Campus
1975: Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina, #84 US pop
"I Cried My Last Tear"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Ernie K-Doe69---
"A Certain Girl"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Ernie K-Doe71--1964: The Yardbirds (as a b-side)
1980: Warren Zevon, #57 US pop; from the album Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School
1962"Java"Alvin TylerFreddy Friday,Marilyn SchackFloyd Cramer49--First recorded by Toussaint (as Tousan) in 1958, on the album The Wild Sound of New Orleans[38][39]
1964: Al Hirt, #4 US pop
The Beautiful South released a version as a b-side on the 1994 single "One Last Love Song".
"Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Benny Spellman8028-1965: The O'Jays, #48 US pop, #28 R&B
1963"Pain in My Heart"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Otis Redding6111-First recorded in 1963 by Irma Thomas as "Ruler of my Heart". The writing credit on Redding's version was originally given to Redding himself, but was changed to Naomi Neville following an out of court settlement.[40]
1965: The Rolling Stones on The Rolling Stones No. 2
1965"Strain on My Heart"(Composition credited to Allen Orange)Roscoe Shelton-25--
"Whipped Cream"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass68--First recorded by The Stokes in 1965[41]
Title track for the 1965 Herb Alpert album Whipped Cream & Other Delights
"Ride Your Pony"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Lee Dorsey287--
"I've Cried My Last Tear"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)The O'Jays94---
1966"Get Out of My Life, Woman"-Lee Dorsey445221966: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band on the album East-West
The Kingsmen on the album The Kingsmen On Campus
The Q65 (The Hague, Netherlands) on the album Revolution
The Leaves on the album Hey Joe
1967: Iron Butterfly on the album Heavy
The Doors' version of "Get Out Of My Life Woman" was recorded in 1967 but only released in 2008 on the CD release of Live at the Matrix.
1972: Spirit on the album The Original Potato Land
The Jerry Garcia Band performed the song during the 1980s and 1990s and a live version of that song is on the Jerry Garcia Band live album of 1991.[42]
1992: Gerry Rafferty on the album On a Wing and a Prayer
Nils Landgren & Joe Sample covered the song on the 2006 album Creole Love Song
The Derek Trucks Band on the live album Road Songs recorded during their 2009 tour.
"Easy Going Fellow"(Composition credited to Allen Orange)Roscoe Shelton-32--
"Confusion"-Lee Dorsey--38-
"All These Things"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)The Uniques97---
"Working in the Coal Mine"-Lee Dorsey8581981: ("Working in a Coal Mine") Devo, #43 US pop, #76 UK. First released on the Heavy Metal soundtrack and as a bonus track for the Devo albumNew Traditionalists.[43]
1985: The Judds on the album Rockin' with the Rhythm.
"Holy Cow"-Lee Dorsey231061973: The Band on their Moondog Matinee album
"Fortune Teller"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)The Hardtimes97--First recorded in 1962 by Benny Spellman as the b-side of "Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)"
1966: The Throb, Top 5 in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.[44][45]
2007: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on the album Raising Sand.
1967"My Old Car"Bill BackerLee Dorsey97---
"Nearer to You"-Betty Harris8516--
"Go-Go Girl"-Lee Dorsey6231--
1968"Can You Hear Me"-Lee Dorsey--53-
1969"Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)"-Lee Dorsey9533-Most later versions use the spelling "...Gonna...."
"It's Hard to Get Along"Joe Simon (Co-credited to Allen Orange)Joe Simon8726--
1970"Yes We Can"-Lee Dorsey-46-1973: ("Yes We Can Can") The Pointer Sisters, #11 US pop, #12 R&B
"Chicken Strut"Ziggy ModelisteLeo Nocentelli,George Porter Jr. (Co-credited to Naomi Neville)The Meters5011--
"Greatest Love"-Judy Clay-45--
"Hand Clapping Song"Ziggy ModelisteLeo Nocentelli,George Porter Jr. (Co-credited to Naomi Neville)The Meters8926--
1973"Whoever's Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)"-Rufus-40--
"Freedom for the Stallion"-The Hues Corporation63--First recorded by Lee Dorsey in 1972.
1972:Boz Scaggs on his album My Time
1974"Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)"-Three Dog Night33--First recorded by Sylvester in 1972
1974: Maria Muldaur on her album Waitress in the Donut Shop
Frankie Miller on his album High Life and as a single
B. J. Thomas on his album, Longhorns & LondonbridgesThree Dog Night 's version was included on the album Hard Labor.
"I Keep On Lovin' You"-Z. Z. Hill-39--
1975"Shoorah! Shoorah!"-Betty Wright-28271976: ("Shoora Shoora") Jenny Jackson, #75 R&B
"Going Down Slowly"-The Pointer Sisters6116--
1977"A Dreamer of a Dream"-Candi Staton-37--
"Southern Nights"-Glen Campbell1-28First recorded by Toussaint in 1975 on the album Southern Nights[46]
1978"Night People"-Lee Dorsey-93--
"Girl Callin'"-Chocolate Milk--14-
"Fun Time"-Joe Cocker43---
1979"Keep It Together (Declaration of Love)"-Rufus-16--
"Happiness"-The Pointer Sisters3020--
1980"Release (The Tension)"-Patti LaBelle-61--
1981"It's Raining"(Composition credited to Naomi Neville)Shakin' Stevens--10First recorded by Irma Thomas in 1962[47]
1983"Do It Any Way You Want"-Robert Winters & Fall-39-On Casablanca Records[48]
2007"Here Come the Girls"-Ernie K-Doe--43First released by K-Doe in 1970
2008: ("Girls") Sugababes, #3 UK

Other compositions credited as Naomi Neville[edit]

  • Real Man (1961)
  • Do-Re-Mi (1961)
  • Get Out Of My House (1962)
  • Hey, Hey, Hey (1962)
  • What Are You Trying To Do (1965)
  • Meter Strut (1970)
  • Hello My Lover (1972)
  • I Did My Part (1981)
  • Work, Work, Work (1995)
Source: [9]

Other compositions credited as Clarence Toussaint[edit]

  • True Love Never Dies (1961)[10]

Other songs[edit]

  • Aaron Neville recorded his song "Hercules" as a single in 1973. Boz Scaggs recorded "Hercules" for his album Slow DancerPaul Weller covered "Hercules" on the 2004 album Studio 150.
  • Van Dyke Parks recorded "Occapella" and "Riverboat" on his 2nd album Discover America in 1972. Ringo Starr recorded "Occapella" in 1974 on his album Goodnight Vienna.
  • The Band recorded "You See Me" on their Jubilation album (1998).[49][50]
  • Little Feat recorded "On Your Way Down" on the album Dixie Chicken.[51] They band performed the song during their 1974 tour; it appears as a bonus track on the re-release of their live album, Waiting for Columbus.[52] The Tommy Talton Band recorded "On Your Way Down" in 2009 for the album Live Notes From Athens.
  • Bonnie Raitt recorded "What Is Success" in 1974 on her Streetlights LP, and "What Do You Want the Boy to Do?" in 1975, on Home Plate.[53]
  • Bo Diddley recorded "Going Down" in 1972 on his album The London Bo Diddley Sessions.
  • Boz Scaggs recorded "Hello My Lover" on his 1972 album My Time, and "What Do You Want the Girl to Do?" for his 1976 album Silk Degrees.
  • Lowell George recorded "What Do You Want the Girl to Do?" for his 1979 solo album Thanks, I'll Eat it Here.
  • Robert Palmer recorded "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" and "From A Whisper To A Scream" on the album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley in 1974. Palmer also recorded "River Boat" for the album Pressure Drop in 1975, and "Night People" for the album Double Fun in 1978.
  • Ringo Starr recorded "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" in 1977 on his album Ringo the 4thPhish covered "Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley" as well as "On Your Way Down" numerous times in concert, dating as far back as 1985.[54]
  • Helen Reddy covered "Optimism Blues" on her 1981 album Play Me Out.
  • Widespread Panic covered "On Your Way Down" in 2009 and also at their 2010 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Performance. Trombone Shorty covered "On Your Way Down" on his 2010 CD Backatown, featuring Toussaint on piano.
  • The song 'I Feel Good' written under the pseudonym Naomi Neville and originally released in the US by Benny Spellman (1965), was a major hit in New Zealand for Larry's Rebels (1966) and later Citizen Band (Studio and live versions – 1978). It was recorded by Greg Anderson (Australia 1966), Chants R&B (New Zealand 1966 live recording, released 2008), The Artwoods (UK 1966 – Single on Decca by R&B band led by Art Wood, brother of Ron Wood. Members included Jon Lord, later of Deep Purple.), The Kuhtze Band (New Zealand 1987), The Gavin Burgess Band (1997 Live recording released 2012).[55]



Allen Toussaint (b. January 14, 1938, Gert Town, Louisiana – d. November 10, 2015, Madrid, Spain) was an American musician, songwriter, arranger and record producer, who was an influential figuge in New Orleans R&B from the 1950s to the end of the century described as "one of popular music's great backroom figures".  Many other musicians recorded Toussaint's compositions, including "Java", "Mother-in-Law", "I Like It Like That", "Fortune Teller", "Ride Your Pony", "Get Out of My Life, Woman", "Working in the Coal Mine", "Everything I Do Gonna be Funky", "Here Come the Girls", "Yes We Can Can", "Play Something Sweet", and "Southern Nights".  As a producer, his credits included Dr. John's hit "Right Place, Wrong Time", and Labelle's "Lady Marmalade". 

In 1998 Toussaint was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2009 into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.  On May 9, 2011, Allen Toussaint was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

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