Lou’s Tribute to Allen Toussaint

“I hear you talking about your troubles/Everybody’s got their troubles too…You can make them burst like bubbles/If you know just what to do:)”

Some people in this world like getting up in the morning and turning the news on their televisions. I grew up in a house where the morning news was a sign to get out of bed. Every once and so often you knew an event of utmost significance transpired if the man turning on the news (my dad) would scream. I have many a memory of big events like when the United States took Noriega out of power in Panama, the Berlin Wall coming down and bogus snowstorm updates to name a few as a result of his mania. This morning was a rare morning where I got out of bed and turned the news on the television. Usually I look it up on my phone. In Philadelphia I like the morning news team on Fox 29 which consists of a ditzy yet completely stunning ebony goddess and a very odd middle age man that reminds me of a character from the movie ‘Anchorman.’ Is there a better way to start a rainy day than the comedy provided by the ambivalence that comes with ogling at one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen all while chuckling at the silly antics of this crazy Philadelphia morning news man. I say ‘no’ and while chowing down on a bowl of Life cereal, it would be hard to find anything that could beat this moment of morning prep.

Until you find out one of your favorite artists of all-time has passed away.

Last night Allen Toussaint died after a performance in Madrid. If you don’t know who he is, I can guarantee you’ve heard his music at some point; he’s a musical chameleon. The influence of this true New Orleans son touched many different genres. Below I’m going to link a couple of his songs.

*I have a hard time picking a favorite when it comes to his music. I love it all. For a good dose of classic Toussaint I advice streaming (or buying) the 43 track Allen Toussaint Warner Bros. Songbook!

1) A great funky Toussaint 70’s studio cut     Worldwide

2) Though I prefer the Toussaint performance, Glen Campbell’s version did reach No. 1 on the Pop Charts long ago                                                                      Southern Nights (performed by Glen Campbell)

3) One of the great collaborations he did with Elvis Costello post-Katrina                                              Ascension Day

4) Another performance of an even better classic from the same album collob (River in Reverse) covered by late Little Feat frontman Lowell George                                                                   What Do You Want the Girl to Do?

5.) Wouldn’t surprise me to find this on some friends’ personal Top Ten lists                                                Sneakin Sally Through The Alley

6.) Another Toussaint song covered by several jambands…it was initially a Little Feat track                On Your Way Down

7.) Arguably his biggest hit depending on whom you talk to                                                                                     Yes We Can Can

8.) This one got his foot in the door…and while I love the original version for some reason I felt like linking the one with Dolly Parton                                      Working In A Coalmine

9.) The man did what he loved up to the very end       St. James Infirmary

10.) And who can leave out Jerry covering a tune      I’ll Take A Melody

11.) Finally…I leave you with this suitable track                             When the Party’s Over

RIP Allen Toussaint…the world has lost a bit of its soul today with your passing:(





Published by

Lou Cervantes

From South Philadelphia to Beyond

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