Tag Archives: Clancy Dubos

Toussaint, Ziants & NOLA Memories~Reflections

A young Allen Toussaint, back in the day, recording with Cosimo Matassa at J & M Studios, NOLA
A young Allen Toussaint, back in the day, recording with Cosimo Matassa at J & M Studios, NOLA

Allen Toussaint & I first met in 1992, backstage at the New Orleans Big Easy Entertainment Awards Show, in the bowels of the now long-vacant Municipal Auditorium at the foot of Orleans Avenue.

Allen was there to accept yet another award and, as the show’s live announcer – a job I enjoyed for ten straight years –  it was my duty that night to introduce him to the packed house.

Allen at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, getting to know President Obama
Allen at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, getting to know President Obama

Warm, engaging, self-deprecating, soft-spoken, and  impeccably dressed, Allen Toussaint truly defined the word – Gentle-man. Qualities that truly belied his most amazing and breathtaking list of rather heady and remarkable musical accomplishments.

That night we laughed and got to know each other. In fact, after recognizing my voice from years on local television, he asked me to “Do a few of those ‘Tonight on Fox Night at the Movies’ promos for my lady, would you?” Laughingly, I agreed and did.

This past Monday night, across the ocean in Madrid, doing what he loved, and at the age of 77, Allen suffered a heart attack, and proceeded to drop his body… and move on.

As he left us with  musical memory after memory after memory. Is it even possible to pick a favorite? From “Mother in Law” to “Southern Nights”, “Working in a Coal Mine” to “Lady Marmalade”, and these are but some of the radio ‘hits’. They just go on and on and on….

AirliftProductionsSalutesCosimoMatassaPrayerCards-9-16-2014
Epic & Legendary New Orleans Recording Engineer & Producer Cosimo Matassa Service Prayer Cards ~ September 16th, 2014

I last talked with Allen Toussaint in September 2014, at Lake Lawn Funeral Home, as the NOLA music world all showed up to pay homage to our just-departed friend, mentor, and seminal recording visionary Cosimo Matassa.

You see, the Cos was the one behind the huge mixing console down in NOLA’s French Quarter in the ’50s & ’60s who made all that musical magic happen with Allen and so many others back in the day.

That day – and this is so Allen – the entire crowd, and it was sizable, was all dressed in funereal black. Except for Mr. Toussaint. Ask anyone who was there. Allen wore the most amazing shade of iridescent blue!

Now, we’re the ones who are… blue, that is.  As Allen Toussaint belongs to the ages. And pages of musical history.

But, brother Allen, thanks for all you brought us, and taught us through all these years.  And for that MUSIC!

Our ‘Southern Nights’ will never be the same.

 

** Allen Toussaint waves “Bye, Bye”, as only he could, via YouTube **

 

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