Allen Toussaint

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Allen Toussaint
AllenToussaintFeb07.jpg
Toussaint performing in Hollywood, Florida in February 2007
Background information
Born(1938-01-14) 14 January 1938 (age 76)
Gert Town, Louisiana, U.S.
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul, southern soul, funk, blues, jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1958–present
LabelsRCA Victor, Scepter, Minit, Instant, Reprise, Warner Bros., Nonesuch, Elektra, Rounder
Associated actsMerry Clayton
Venetta Fields
Dr. John
The Meters
Irma Thomas
Joan Harmon
Deborah Paul
Sharon Neborn
John Mayall
Etta James
Bonnie Raitt
Rosemary Butler
Elvis Costello
Paul McCartney
The BandLee Dorsey
 
  (Redirected from Naomi Neville)
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This article is about the musician. For the psychiatrist and academic, see Alvin F. Poussaint.
Allen Toussaint
AllenToussaintFeb07.jpg
Toussaint performing in Hollywood, Florida in February 2007
Background information
Born(1938-01-14) 14 January 1938 (age 76)
Gert Town, Louisiana, U.S.
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresR&B, soul, southern soul, funk, blues, jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1958–present
LabelsRCA Victor, Scepter, Minit, Instant, Reprise, Warner Bros., Nonesuch, Elektra, Rounder
Associated actsMerry Clayton
Venetta Fields
Dr. John
The Meters
Irma Thomas
Joan Harmon
Deborah Paul
Sharon Neborn
John Mayall
Etta James
Bonnie Raitt
Rosemary Butler
Elvis Costello
Paul McCartney
The BandLee Dorsey

Allen Toussaint (/ˈtsɑːnt/; born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, composer, record producer, and influential figure in New Orleans R&B.

Many of Toussaint's songs have become familiar through versions by other musicians, including "Working in the Coal Mine", "Ride Your Pony", "Fortune Teller", "Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)", "Southern Nights," "Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky", "I'll Take a Melody", "Get Out of My Life, Woman", and "Mother-in-Law".

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Toussaint grew up in a shotgun house in the New Orleans neighborhood of Gert Town, 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. After a lucky break at age 17 in which he stood in for Huey Smith at a performance with Earl King's band in Prichard, Alabama,[1] Toussaint was introduced to a group of local musicians who performed regularly at a night club on LaSalle street Uptown; they were known as the Dew Drop Set.[2] He initially recorded for RCA Victor as Al Tousan and recorded an album of instrumentals, including the song "Java", which became a #1 hit for Al Hirt (also on RCA) in 1964.[3]

A significant early influence on Toussaint was the second-line piano style of Professor Longhair. In his early years he worked mainly for Joe Banashak's Minit Records and Instant Records, but after Minit was sold to its distributor, he teamed up with Marshall Sehorn, starting their own record label variously known as Tou-Sea, Sansu, Deesu or Kansu. In 1973 Toussaint and Sehorn created the Sea-Saint recording studio in Gentilly.[4][5]

Success in the 1960s and 1970s[edit]

In the early 1960s he wrote and produced a string of hits for New Orleans R&B artists such as Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas, Art and Aaron Neville, The Showmen, and Lee Dorsey.

Toussaint credited about twenty songs credited to his parents.[6][7] These pieces range from Benny Spellman's 1961 cover of "Fortune Teller" through The Artwoods' 1995 cover of "Work, Work, Work", and beyond (see Alison Krauss' and Robert Plant's 2007 cover of "Fortune Teller" on their collaboration album Raising Sand. A fairly thorough song list appears in Toussaint's discography section Pseudonyms, below.

Some notable pieces are:

Toussaint's piano and arrangements show up on hundreds of records during the early 1960s on records by Lee Dorsey, Chris Kenner, and scores of other artists. 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. He also began to work with non-New Orleans artists such as B.J. Thomas, Robert Palmer, Willy DeVille, Sandy Denny, Elkie Brooks, Solomon Burke, Scottish soul singer Frankie Miller (High Life) and southern rocker Mylon LeFevre.[citation needed] He arranged horn music for The Band's 1971 album Cahoots, plus Rock of Ages and The 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. In 1976 he also collaborated with John Mayall on the album Notice to Appear.[citation needed]

Toussaint also launched his own solo career, which peaked in the '70s 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. 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.[citation needed]

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and, in 2009, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. On May 9, 2011 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

2000s[edit]

Allen Toussaint performing in Stockholm 2009

Toussaint weathered Hurricane Katrina in the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel. After the hurricane Toussaint left New Orleans for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and eventually settled in New 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 Shaffer and his CBS Orchestra. Toussaint performed regularly at Joe's Pub in New York City through 2009.[citation needed]

The River in Reverse, Toussaint's collaborative album with Elvis Costello, was released on 29 May 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).[8]

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 NPR via KCRW. He appeared in London in August 2008, where he performed a gig at The Roundhouse. In October 2008 he performed at Festival New Orleans at The O2 alongside acts such as Dr. John and Buckwheat Zydeco.[9] 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 of Hurricane Katrina.[9] 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 a taping for the popular PBS series Austin City Limits on June 30, 2009 as part of the show's 35th anniversary season. He played instrumentals from his most 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 the Sundance 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".[citation needed]

Toussaint is a musical mentor to Swedish-born New Orleans songwriter and performer Theresa Andersson.[10]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Solo[edit]

Other contributions[edit]

Pseudonyms[edit]

Naomi Neville[edit]

[6]

--

--

--

--

Clarence Toussaint[edit]

[7]

Video[edit]

Covers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Allen Toussaint profile at". NYNO Records. Retrieved 2012-04-01. 
  2. ^ Alison Fensterstock, "On Top of the Charts: Allen Toussaint is as sharp and prolific as ever", Gambit Weekly (New Orleans), May 1, 2007, pg. 23 (archives online at Bestofneworleans.com)
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-104-7. 
  4. ^ Alison Fensterstock, op. cit.
  5. ^ Jaffe, Ben, Allen Toussaint profile, preshallben.tumblr.com, October 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Artist page for Naomi Neville on uk-charts.com". uk-charts.com. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Artist page for Clarence Toussaint on uk-charts.com". uk-charts.com. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Fats Domino 'Alive And Kicking'". CBS News. 2006-02-25. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  9. ^ a b Massarik, Jack (2008-10-27). "The Saints Come Marching in at O2 jazz festival". Evening Standard. 
  10. ^ Spera, Keith (2012-05-01). "Letting life flow in: Songwriter Theresa Andersson's expanding roles with music and motherhood lead her to a better place". Times-Picayune (Saint Tammany Edition). pp. C1–2. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  11. ^ Music Conversation: Allen Toussaint & Larry Appelbaum. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  12. ^ "Jerry Garcia Band: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  13. ^ "Reflections: CDs & Vinyl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  14. ^ "After Midnight: Kean College 2/28/80: CDs & Vinyl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  15. ^ "New Traditionalists: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  16. ^ "Moondog Matinee: CDs & Vinyl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  17. ^ "Jubilation: CDs & Vinyl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  18. ^ "Waiting for Columbus: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  19. ^ "Dixie Chicken: CDs & Vinyl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  20. ^ "The Bonnie Raitt Collection: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  21. ^ "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley Every Time Played". Phish.net. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  22. ^ "I Feel Good - GREG ANDERSON (1966) - Pop Archives - Sources of Australian Pop Records from the 50s, 60s and 70s". Pop Archives. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 

External links[edit]


Awards
First
None recognized before
AMA Lifetime Achievement Award for Producer/Engineer
2006
Succeeded by
Jim Dickinson