The late great Allen Toussaint touched nearly everybody in popular music — at least it seems so from the outpouring of sympathy expressed upon his untimely passing. Toussaint died in Spain, after playing a concert — doing what he loved. “Music is everything to me, short of breathing,” he once said.
Toussaint was a performer, producer and writer of great, durable songs that were recorded by top artists in multiple genres. Robert Palmer (“Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley”), Bonnie Raitt (“What Is Success“), Herman’s Hermits, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Costello, Allison Krauss & Robert Plant (“Fortune Teller”) all recorded Toussaint’s New Orleans-inflected masterworks. But the ultimate proof of how adaptable and sturdy Toussaint’s constructions are came courtesy of the Ohio new wave quartet DEVO when they recorded “Working in a Coal Mine”, which had been a hit for Lee Dorsey in 1966. See below: