Allen Toussaint

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Robbie Robertson (The Band)
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award


A rare talent forged in the fires of New Orleans’ red hot music scene.

Few people can produce, arrange, write songs or perform—Allen Toussaint did it all and then some with expertise and aplomb.

Hall of Fame Essay


Geoffry Himes

Few songwriters have summed up their artistic philosophy as neatly as Allen Toussaint did in his song “Play Something Sweet (Brickyard  Blues),” which became a Top Forty hit for Three Dog Night. 

“Play something sweet,” goes the refrain, “play something funky; make me lay back and grin like a monkey! Play  something I can understand!” The funkiness comes from Toussaint’s hometown of New Orleans, a city where the  streets are frequently filled with funer­al processions and carnival parades. 

Fueling the music accompanying both is a hip-shaking syncopation that is absorbed by the city’s residents from the time they’re old enough to tag along after the marchers and form a “second line.” The sweetness of which Toussaint sings, though, comes from his own special genius.  

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1998
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Quote_Allen Toussaint_Desktop
A new musical gumbo - This new recipe was created by Allen Toussaint
Robbie Robertson (The Band)



Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage