WWL>Topics>>1-17 3:10pm Allen Toussaint

1-17 3:10pm Allen Toussaint

Jan 17, 2014|

Angela hosts the Great Allen Toussaint.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I think of New Orleans I rarely think of its landscape it's buildings. Or it's also an insufferable heat. One might think of the city what I always think about is its people special people Smart people talented people. And there are so many. But if there is one person who embodies it all it's -- two -- Singer songwriter producer Grammy winner rock and roll hall of Famer. Recipient of the national medal of the arts. Allen Toussaint is big in the world of music. Elton John instead of him quote. When I meet someone like Alan Toussaint that for me is like meeting you know some of the equivalent of the Dolly Lama. Because for me he influenced the way I play the piano. He's a historical part of rock and roll. Allen Toussaint musical history began in Gert town on an old upright piano. He has been an over sixty year journey through the streets of New Orleans to the studios of California. To the great concert halls of New York City. As he evolved creating songs that still live today. What never changed was the man -- years. The gentle thoughtful generous new -- -- and who continues to make us so proud he is our southern night. And I mean that from the heart and I have been an assembly in your number one fan and you have a million number one fans. But I think we have always I've always felt a special relationship. And I'm just gonna divert from your wonderful life. To take this back to when we had to talk -- And this very generous man would come every time we called. Played the piano. Just engage us. With all the heat it is and one time he came in India written a song for the Louisiana as PC okay. And it was you confined different -- comic -- street. I will never forget that this legend writing about -- on the street. Which because of Katrina no longer exists but that song. Is always in my mind I can sing at right now. But thank you for that again. We have a lot to talk about. You're nominated for two grammys coming up soon. And one for a single which I love the name I absolutely love the name of this. Trip poor boy dressed. And then best American album -- It's. Let's talk about the song. Right will. After Katrina I have to migrate somewhere cause as you know mall -- owns his -- on the martial law a little while. Cause I would never leave on the state pushed me how does it it's. But I've migrated to new York and had to spend some time then I begin doing a Sunday brunch -- -- Where I was doing a solo. Piano and myself. And now. I begin now to an all of these songs than those that produce of them who produce a documentary is. On musicians to name but by the name of -- Siegel. And the best news would you mind -- -- -- caught one of those Sunday Brooke Shields and I told him. Given -- go if you will and he did and now here it is up for nominates. Unbelievable. Unbelievable your life and it was actually post-Katrina. And with all the Horrow. That you an Elvis Costello. Always supported luxurious it is to a Buick Elvis Costello we've done many we did many things then. And this year that we dissented we're gonna get together again in to a bit. But yes we -- caught it and we -- and we did benefits right after Katrina. -- Elvis Costello Lou as you all and that he took it very seriously. -- what happened here and he took it personally. So he was gung ho about gotten things done. And we need to ago with the full complement that we were caught it with the New Orleans -- hones and his rhythm section and we took around the world. And I had a wonderful time and now we're in communication -- and you won a Grammy. -- about that yes yes. And he and I will opt program before I even got my own that does so soon there -- did. It Ingraham yes and you were there for that well yes side and that moment. Just tell me that moment you're sitting in the chair. Yes I love it because. 41 thing would have by him. I am feeling New Orleans so. I hardly appeal to me I feel that New Orleans has -- -- -- And it was wonderful then now. Who was told that one could imagine and and to be recognized by Europeans. It was a fine -- and -- wanted to milestones in my life -- it. You've had another recent milestone -- last year. Into the White House President Obama putting that medal around your neck. But rethinking. That was the biggest and best of all things I can remember that since I started to -- on the piano. What has. Come as a result of that. When the president. Sudan's and now put that on my Americans say the things that he said. About me. Of Arnold's and under an awards. That was the biggest inbred it's and that I'm very good at it that I was in good company. -- -- to the white also a few times. And I must say it. It could -- so fitting -- -- who was there at the moment at that moment. Was very good. Of all of the law it's that's the because in this. It's and I would bet that the people who were there were saying. I'm there with Allen to see. How can you have a that's not so bad and no previous. On the subject of of Katrina I've read where. You send when you came back when you finally got to come back. But it was just shades of gray mean your your homeless destroyed. Oh yes yes and the studio. Everything was just a big -- mask. It looked as if well you give one wanted to do that delivered them gonna take some. Agree. -- sound proof in the supplements spray it on everything because it was a Fuzzy great. And it really looked like coworker -- Does not than was spent in the area that was like that. -- the strange feeling but I accepted immediately. That everything here suits me extremely well. And I've been blessed. And I will go on now. From here to there would enthusiasm. And expectant. A lot of new surprises and it's been all happen. You know that is a remarkable but not surprising attitude from music she would not look at it as being defeated or bitter or. Devastated as many people work devastated. That you would look at that -- do that's. It's very Allen to -- him speak. If you don't mind I'd like to go back in time because I loved reading about him would want to know more about this I think others would. About where you grew up I mean people know you as this rock and roll hall of Famer but did did starting -- -- Right and you use you pronounce -- town just that this should be a thank you can't yes I came up in great town and and I had a lovely time we came up enough humble a shotgun neighborhood. And Saddam doesn't mean guns of course I don't except to tell all the Indians that since the with thousands of shape they say well you can stand and outside of condolence to the shotgun straight through and I did anything. That's what -- will call a second houses but that's been the poorest 24 years of my life in Koreatown. And that was too common cause and good sign cause everyone was in the same. Conditioned financially spiritually and everything in every way so little marvelous time. Yes and not who also good foundation for. You know I read and I I loved what you said that you felt loved in your house but also liked. -- Sinbad is a tremendous statement. Yes. -- I'm glad to remember that. Because that was important to me and there's a difference. But it was really nice. To be liked this well. -- love come very seriously light comes with a smile. Your parents sounds like wonderful wonderful people and and there's the story of when you were I think thirteen years old you've had written. Music written I love this at thirteen. Something for the trombone in the sax and trumpet and you showed your father who was a musician. -- his comment to you. Yes he. He called me genius. Fuels those big band trumpet live at wells gone by the time my -- isles the good of three children. By the time he had decided that he had to go in to the railroad job it was a railroad mechanic. But he was a musician enough to know something about music and it looked at -- stumble on putt that I had written. And -- India complex that is of protesters listen in now. He. He gave me you know very very high compliment and especially because it came from him he was a serious man. Enough. That that really. Boost me in many ways. Do you think at that point you were seen yourself even at thirteen. This is the road I'm going to go on all I knew very well that I would be doing this forever I didn't know. But what. How to get from a to B to -- But I knew that this is what I wanted to do all my life I knew that will biffle to. Do you think innocence you were born to be a musician. If this had to playing them now. I have come to believe that some things are in the eight. So much is that yes I think so. Hi I can't imagine anything else not doing my idea coming up. That even threaten. -- to look another way. No I've I've felt in love at first touch. Did you study music in high school -- and beyond her how did you learn all opera's got started up the the piano's. Sent to the house so my assistant and -- on or about six and -- And when this that this big piece of furniture and how -- -- now win over. Reluctantly and -- to know what it was gone to -- two -- and they gave me this pleasant sound. Because to touches a touch and that gave me. Yes sound and now -- I remember feeling very good about that. As if that was being kind to me. So. I've failed in eleven and nine again soon thereafter. Economical simple melody is. Things I heard on the radio picking them out single no single -- the notes and my sister begin taken music lessons. Which was shoplift because CA entities to that spent to fans as she admitted mistakes he hated that Scioscia didn't stay very long. Assumes a Smart girl and would have a -- that -- Alan -- and did very well and thoroughly. Aunts and soon thereafter when she did quit when she saw that also and sit and -- -- he was the one who told me. This. Etc. etc. center. So that got me to thank him beyond just what I could -- but that you could also read. And to edit that caught the and I begin of course going on my own. And the book due August had made him very early. And my mother -- draw on or about eight now have for him to enroll me into junior school of music and after about seven lessons he gave up. Because I wasn't doing in my home Waco wasn't doing migrate to Elizabeth bill columns go to. 'cause like us and already was gone behind the book you -- give -- the various gospel and blues. So but not not to be bit in the fingers you saw that. I wasn't doing my homework and I didn't seem to be interest in that line. Associate discontinued the lessons. And I went on but I as I studied constantly. In everywhere that I could to add on to. Would have the foundation that I had. But a high level and I'm talking to students I encourage them to -- Take lessons and the two talent come through in whatever way you beat him. So many sounds and Allen -- over so many years. Again thank you for joining aspect. I'm reminded that last year at this time this was your birthday this week last year at this time. That the organization New Orleans artist against homelessness and hunger which you started with -- noble now -- almost thirty years ago. Honored you for your birthday. And now they're doing a documentary is that correct camera that that's so it started at that event last year yes and now it's being put together and is going to Iran. That's that hasn't been determined because -- still even collect enough more people and interviews. But has gone very well. But it's people who Revere you as we all do. But people like Eric Clapton and Cyndi Lauper and Elvis Costello yes. Big huge names -- yes paying tribute in the way yes people. They were yes people yes people yes yes why not us. This is great will we will look forward to that and WL EE is putting that together is that correct correct very very very good. Also been told about which is unbelievable. And not unbelievable it just shows one more time how multi talented you -- The great Twyla Tharp. Yes you created the music for a work she has done. Yes was the -- -- followed this at the same time it was not in Rio Rancho. See started at once I started the music she had to hide this she wanted to. A ballet on based on my music so we got started there and as I wrote music. -- put danced to. And after I had written many many pieces and we will print in my satisfied. She learned of a sound that I had written musical call waiting at the station which have wrote for -- noble way back in the day. And she fell in love with that and that became the title of the entire -- And now. To put it altogether and she did a marvelous job of as a choreographer of course that we will not Seattle. And that's way it hailed. And with full orchestra. And I've played along with that we've performed -- put a couple of nights and a cup on one weekend man. And not that was its debut and I left then the next week in the performed again and it got great reviews all. We've got to get down to New Orleans always Sweeney's is it that we have a great ballet corps here it just happened. I'm sorry I might -- That doesn't know the gentleman who has come to town and he has chosen maneuver my previous songs. After a non that I did that would. -- pulp and yes he's gonna do a belly here in new columns of my news. This is magnificent here and watching you and I'm thinking to myself as you say you were doing the songs and she. Wanted to do the ballet to your music yes sling and you are sitting at a piano are you thinking. Not so much for the ballet but are you thinking at the musical notes are are you thinking the words of the song in your writing to those words. Will be as well all instrumental because it wasn't going to be in the locals. A slow writing music of the Cox Powell music new -- music. That I thought would be good -- dance. And the from the very from the medium slow to the up tempo but all within -- all of us play of course ought to have the add the words field -- split to -- everything I do. Should have the meals Blair would upbeat than can now hope it would cut right through the fingertips does nowhere -- I wanna go anyway. So that's how it all went and he was very happy to do it impacts -- gonna visit he owns in the near future. Because after that we did that she says she wanted to come and taste. Pool of new put nuance is so this is going to be visited and I'm gonna stick around them that a cease things he may have Nazi wonderful. But if you're writing a song with the southern nights via. Did you come up with the words first or did you were you playing on the piano and it just it. In the case of so the night it came at the same time. Club because so the -- of course distillery and inspiration was from one holds a child six issel. It's about that visits in the Opel still creole speaking people in the country. And the quiet nights and how beautiful it was then and wonderful to be around all Ozal creole speaking people and -- that wisdom. -- -- there will someone out there who knew everything. And would he did know she knew and what he didn't see that -- someone else did. Little boy and I got ready to rights of the night. Bottom I don't know if you meant just that I in this song but. When I begin to do it. It came met the same time. The poorest -- of -- melted that would go. And out of prison Burris would go and after then I begin -- -- words to it but they used to come pretty close to. At same time they get started that way. The NAFTA while begin and things just because you know how to. Develop some -- But of course that certain things about certain things that says no you gonna take me this way not just because of something you know. And you -- that if it's inspirational. 15100 songs. 15100 songs I can barely get my arms wrapped around that. Let's talk about working with people like Glen Campbell and Elvis Costello and Eric Clapton and one of The Beatles. Oh wonderful that in collaboration. In the in the -- that -- with people at that level and and all collaboration. I feel special about because everyone brings something special to the table. And you and me -- them equal something new that. -- Malone would look ahead of myself alone what a bad but the collaborations others good. Glen Campbell's version of southern night I just did they love wells. Really elated blood Jim Webb turned them on to that -- told him. He's has given to loosen them. Picked to temple up a bit and the -- would probably have -- a winner and he did. In his Chicago several must songs. But. That. The the bigger they ought to -- avail as well bald -- cognitive his Venus and malls album in my studio. And that was when Linda was with him and wings this group yes and he was a marvelous individual. Very much into. Humanity. And when he spent. A bit more than a month here and when he was through recalled. He gave a big party. On the queen Mary out California and he invited every book everybody in the studio support is and even the may have to use to clean up and whoever they want to bring along. And several musicians from new owns. It took them all out -- out to the queen Mary in California and gave this huge party. And everyone had a wonderful time and normal back. Who's this quite a guy and from time to time our run into them now. And not it's always the places he's still the same guy he was. We were talking in our earlier showed that it's the fiftieth anniversary of the beatles' number one hit. And and the question why is it. We remember so many of their songs they were transformational in a way of that what about -- what about our era now. And your era. Formulating what has become New Orleans music how is that going to be remembered fifty years from now. It will be remembered. Fondly. It is going well known around the world the influence that he knew almost music has had on many many musicians. And now even some who it's not not for his hand the second man who would even good people and they still know that it's started and this was the cradle a bit. And it'll always be thought of of course we know would've thought of in the jazz right now but just as well in the Paul Graham if you wanna say and and the rock and roll -- and everything would all all springs of the new all its music. Hope we will be credited -- properly plus and -- him and we -- -- will receive the around the world in every corner. He casually mentions and a commercial that -- I was in Japan for three days. Listen this is spectacular. What about the via the young guys out there today who we have playing I mean. Instrumentalists and otherwise if. This is a wonderful day for New Orleans was still ten amount. That is of course we everyone knows stumble and showed me and what he's doing. And if you it is not just -- name ma catch phrase would appear pitchers show and see all day puts into it. And all of them were she had talent. And how well he's doing it in this head is screwed on and a great way. He's doing all of the good things very well he's doing it right he's surrounded himself with some of the students that way out of no -- -- And they hit their way they should be win they should be and do and it's extremely well we have people like big settlement. And the nation's. Who is another trombonist. Who's doing very well and of course John boot today. All of the love live bullets as we turn out over the years we've -- turn out anyone in the better. This is a great day for -- and still end. I was at. At a -- over in the action -- area about the Mardi Gras Indians. And is good to see how seriously these guys still taken that as well. Because that's -- huge part of who we saw. And as we can see when they come out on moderate -- how beautiful they saw how beautiful it looks. Well this sold is that beautiful about it all year round. So this is a great day in the links in the chain to view all this music as well intact for them and so. See this is while love -- Tucson we have had a wonderful hour with the great -- Tucson tan from Gert town to. For the world real and it's just it's just so precious that it started here and it continues. Really you're into Europe. Seventh decade of creating. I'll take that. You were a little boy riding -- -- snow by golly and it just continues and I'm just wondering. Where you see yourself the next three years what you'd like to be doing. More of the same more of the same there's always a humility come in new inspiration. To -- as I was on the way here and feeling good about being in the all once. I'll. If I could've Duvall as a runner and laid out a -- beside the road made a couple of notes. Two time completed when I get back. So how would symbol the same. Particularly. Things on the back -- and also there's always things that sweetened to be revisited. So it says it's the more of the same it's the best seconds. Do you still -- -- place in New York we used to visit new York and keep an apartment in New York in this down and between. On fifteenth between eighth and ninth at the low line plasma and I go to deal collapsed like humid that the cue from looking for hotels the but. I don't indeed leave New Orleans when I have to. So isn't. Isn't our hot weather is -- our water is that our soul what is that that helps you create. Well this the whole garden do you all in the numb wanted to plants than. I appeal uprooted and apply a movie about. And it's it's like that I just love -- owns and I still move about a sometimes like tourists. I just I enjoy walk in the corner. A -- Padraig street -- being here with you I mean. It doesn't get any better than that sank Q Allen Toussaint thank you so very very much for all you are to all of us thank you.