R.I.P. Allen Toussaint

Legendary New Orleans musician and composer Allen Toussaint has passed away. According to the Associated Press, Toussaint suffered a heart attack after a performing a concert in Madrid, Spain. He was 77.

“Rescue workers were called to Toussaint’s hotel early Tuesday morning and managed to revive him after he suffered a heart attack, Madrid emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said.

But Toussaint stopped breathing during the ambulance ride to a hospital and efforts to revive him again were unsuccessful, Ayuso said.”

Toussaint was an accomplished performer and composer, having penned hits such as “Working in a Coal Mine” and “Lady Marmalade”, and experience working with music legends including Irma Thomas, the Meters, Joe Cocker and the late Ernie K-Doe. Toussaint received the Recording Academy Trustees Award during the 2009 Grammy Awards and was still an active performer, even as he neared the age of 80. He was expected to perform a benefit concert along with longtime friend Paul Simon in New Orleans on Dec. 8.

Watch Toussaint perform “Southern Nights.”

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  • The Brigadoon anecdote in the article. Let me say something about that.. That’s how i first met him. We were performing Brigadoon at the Starcastle Dinner theater. It was way the hell across the river from New Orleans on the West Bank on Bellechasse highway, halfway to Plaquemines parish. It was a sad little, lonely, poor outpost of art in the middle of nowhere.. One night in walks in Allen Toussaint! We were so excited! After the show he thanked and congratulated us. Turns out that the very epitome of coolness’ favorite theater piece was one of the most sweetly corny, sappy theatre pieces there is! Yes! BRIGADOON! I went on to know and love him and to work with him, even, but this is how i Imet him. Brigadoon. His favorite! I love that about him.

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