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Allen Toussaint

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  • Year:
    1998
  • Inducted by:
    Robbie Robertson (The Band)
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award
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Hall of Fame Essay

1998

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.  

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A new musical gumbo - This new recipe was created by Allen Toussaint

Robbie Robertson (The Band)

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Gallery

Photography: Kevin Mazur, WireImage

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