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You may have heard of Allen Toussaint. He has been in the news somewhat this year. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the legendary New Orleans composer/singer/producer/pianist (along with Fats Domino) was listed as among the missing for a few days. Fortunately, he turned up and soon was headlining shows to raise money for the hurricane relief effort.
Earlier this year he was the featured performer on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Piano Night. A few years ago he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But to me his main claim to fame was his association with New Orleans Piano Legends of the past such as James Booker and Professor Longhair. That was my main reason for wanting to interview him and learn from him. In December of 1987 I made a trip to New Orleans to interview him at his recording studio. But I did nothing with the tape. After all there wasn’t an Internet back then or such a thing as podcasting.
But now there is so I found the interview tape, cleaned it up a little (electronically) and now you have the first half of the interview, for the first time after 18 years. I may put up part two later if there is enough call for it.
Bear with me on the sound quality. I was pretty new at this at the time. Toussaint’s piano playing is great, however. You’re going to love that.
I realize that these podcasts are provided to you at no cost, but if you find that you really like this program, please consider making a small donation to the Red Cross Katrina Relief fund www.redcross.org. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done there.
Allen Toussaint bio: http://www.nynorecords.com/allen.shtml
James Booker bio: http://www.cascadeblues.org/History/JamesBooker.htm
Professor Longhair bio: http://www.professorlonghair.com/