Songwriter Allen Toussaint dies at 77 - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Songwriter Allen Toussaint dies at 77

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Photograph Glade Bilby II (allentoussaint.com/) Photograph Glade Bilby II (allentoussaint.com/)

One of the most prolific songwriters ever to come out of New Orleans and the United States has died.

Allen Toussaint, a member of the Rock 'n' Roll, Blues, and Louisiana Music halls of fame, died early this morning after suffering a fatal heart attack.  He was 77.

Spanish newspapers report that Toussaint was stricken after finishing a concert in Madrid last night.

Tousssaint, who grew up in the Gert Town section of New Orleans, started his career in the 1950s.  Within 10 years, his songs were becoming hits for others.  His instrumental, "Java" became a number-one hit for trumpeter Al Hirt in 1964.

Among his other hits:
--"Mother-in-Law" and "A Certain Girl," both made famous by Ernie K-Doe,
--"Working in a Coal Mine," recorded by Lee Dorsey and Devo, among others,
--"Yes We Can Can," a number-11 hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1973,
--"Lady Marmalade," a number-one hit for Labelle on the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B surveys in 1975, and
--"Southern Nights," a number-one hit for Glen Campbell on the Billboard Hot 100, County, and Adult Contemporary charts.

Toussaint, who settled in New York City after Hurricane Katrina, still toured regularly until his death.  He made a stop in Lafayette in October 2012, playing a two-night stand at the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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