Allen Toussaint Songbook
by Jim Allen | September 27, 2013
Even amid the ridiculously rich musical history of New Orleans, the legacy of Allen Toussaint stands out. His once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent transcends eras and stylistic borders. As pianist, producer, singer and songwriter, Toussaint has made a monumental impact. From his '50s beginnings right up to his new live Songbook album, he's helped spread the sounds of his city across the planet and into the realms of rock, pop, country, blues and more. Song for song, Toussaint's sporadic solo releases stand as some of New Orleans R&B's most powerful statements, but he's best known for penning tunes made famous by everyone from fellow travelers like Lee Dorsey and Ernie K-Doe to Glen Campbell and even Devo. A truly comprehensive collection of his greatest moments, both as a recording artist and as a songwriter for others, would take weeks to plow through. Our accompanying playlist is a slightly more small-scale tally of Toussaint's treasures.