In a career spanning over 50 years, Allen Toussaint has had a tremendous impact on contemporary popular music. Listen to the man himself in a Fireside Chat on Red Bull Music Academy Radio.

Born in 1938 and raised in one of America’s most fertile musical and multicultural hotbeds, New Orleans, Allen Toussaint began playing piano aged seven, and soon developed and refined a signature style of R 'n' B incorporating soul, funk and jazz, which heralded a huge amount of influence in the Crescent City.



As a producer and composer, Toussaint proved himself a prolific talent early in his life, creating a succession of hits for New Orleans artists which became R 'n' B standards covered by international stars like The Yardbirds, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, The Band, Bo Diddley, Warren Zevon and Ringo Starr in the years following.


He has written and produced music for artists as diverse as Dr John, Paul Simon and LaBelle (including the number one disco-funk classic Lady Marmalade) and has contributed his piano virtuosity for collaborations with Paul McCartney, Etta James, Eric Clapton and Elvis Costello to name but a few.


Aside from his work with other musicians, Toussaint also writes, plays and performs on his own records, with songs that capture the sophisticated, inventive fluency and musical heterogeneity of his colourful life and career.



Solo artist, session pianist, songwriter, producer and arranger – all of these roles have been fulfilled by Toussaint, and while his involvement is not always at the forefront of the music, his longstanding influence was recognised in 1998 when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category, and in 2009 when he received the Grammy Trustees Award for his contribution to the field of musical recording.

Listen to the great man talking about his career and passions in a Fireside Chat for Red Bull Music Academy Radio:




Ernie K. Doe – Mother-In-Law – London American Recordings
Lee Dorsey - Working In The Coal Mine - Amy
Betty Harris - Mean Man - Sansu
Betty Harris - There's A Break In The Road – SSS International
Aaron Neville - She's On My Mind – Bell Records
The Meters - Cissy Strut - Josie Records
Lee Dorsey - Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On) - Amy
Lee Dorsey - Give It Up - Amy
Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can (Part 1) - Polydor
Allen Toussaint - Sweet Touch Of Love – Scepter Records
Allen Toussaint - From A Whisper To A Scream – Scepter Records
Allen Toussaint - Either – Scepter Records
Ernie K. Doe - Here Come The Girls – Janus Records
LaBelle - Lady Marmalade - Epic
The Meters - Just Kissed My Baby – Reprise Records
The Meters - People Say – Reprise Records
Allen Toussaint - Last Train - Reprise Records
Allen Toussaint - Southern Nights - Reprise Records
Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words – RCA Victor
The Wild Tchoupitoulas - Hey Pocky A-Way – Island Records
Chocolate Milk - Girl Callin' - RCA
Linda Lewis – Shining - Arista
Chocolate Milk - Say Won'tcha – RCA


More Red Bull Culture?

RBMA: Motorcity Frequencies I

RBMA: Motorcity Frequencies II

Van Dyke Parks: Music Matters

Mulatu Astatke: Music Matters

Gilles Peterson: Music Matters



    Add a comment

    * All fields required
    Only 2000 Characters are allowed to enter :
    Type the word on the left, then click "Post Comment":

    Article Details