Singing of New Orleans, Past and Future

Hear Allen Toussaint

Since Katrina, Toussaint has recorded several CDs. Some highlights:

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  • "Freedom for the Stallion"
  • Album: River in Reverse
  • Artist: Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • Released: 2006
 
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  • "River Boat"
  • Album: I Believe to My Soul
  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Label: Rhino/Work Song/Hear Music
  • Released: 1969
 
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  • "Yes We Can Can"
  • Album: Our New Orleans
  • Artist: Assorted
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 2005
 

Also on 'Fresh Air'

For a time, legendary New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint was missing during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Since his recovery, the songwriter has been on a mission to play and record music honoring his city — and helping it rebuild.

Allen Toussaint has performed at many benefit shows since Hurricane Katrina.

hide captionAllen Toussaint has performed at many benefit shows since Hurricane Katrina.

Rick Diamond/WireImage

Toussaint has written hits for the Meters, Patti LaBelle and many others. He's probably best known for his hit "Working In the Coalmine." His work includes writing "Right Place, Wrong Time" for Dr. John.

A longtime New Orleans resident, Toussaint has been singing and playing piano in the city for more than 40 years. The owner of the Sea-Saint Recording Studios, Toussaint was one of many who sought to ride out the storm. Feared lost for several days, Toussaint made his way from the Superdome to New York.

Since the hurricane struck, Toussaint has been a tireless ambassador for the city, staging benefit shows in New York and elsewhere, including the Higher Ground Hurricane Benefit Relief Concert. During some of those shows, Toussaint shared the stage with Elvis Costello.

The pair decided to continue their collaboration, and a CD of their music, The River In Reverse, is due to come out in May. Toussaint was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. He spoke to Terry from New Orleans on the day before Mardi Gras.

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River in Reverse

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Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: River in Reverse
  • Artist: Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • Released: 2006
 

Our New Orleans

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Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Our New Orleans
  • Artist: Assorted
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 2005
 

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