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Allen Toussaint (1983)

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1983-04-15

Duration: 00:26:49

Subjects: TOUSSAINT, ALLEN | Pianists | Composers | Rhythm and blues music | Music


  • DuPaquier, John Theme Music
  • George, Beth Executive Producer
  • Fowler, Ken Producer
  • Breazeale, Kathryn Producer
  • Fourrier, Clay Director
  • Weill, Gus Interviewer
  • Toussaint, Allen Interviewee


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from April 15, 1983, features an interview with Allen Touissant conducted by Gus Weill. Toussaint, a native of New Orleans, is an influential piano player, composer, producer and arranger of Rhythm and Blues music, best known for writing “Mother-in-Law,” “Java,” “Working in the Coalmine,” “Southern Nights,” and “Lady Marmalade.” He discusses: growing up in the Gert Town area of New Orleans; his family’s musical background; his first piano; his musical influences; writing and composing music at age 9; his lack of formal training; his first hit record; the inspiration for his songs; his decision to stay in New Orleans; the difference between recording music in a studio and performing in front of an audience; and the process of collaborating with other artists as a producer and composer.