Album of the Day
Born on this day in 1938, Allen Toussaint was one of the guiding lights of New Orleans music; as an arranger, producer or songwriter, he helped craft hits for Lee Dorsey, LaBelle, the Pointer Sisters and many others. But Toussaint also cut several albums of his own, and SOUTHERN NIGHTS is among his very best. The 1975 Reprise collection paints portraits of Louisiana life linked with interstitial instrumentals, giving the set a concept album feel, and trippy production touches bring out the surreal magic of the swamp. An ace backing band (including members of funk greats the Meters) really delivers the goods on such gems as the title track and “What Do You Want the Girl to Do?” - later covered by Glen Campbell and Boz Scaggs, respectively. Allen Toussaint's name may not be as famous as theirs, but the magnificent SOUTHERN NIGHTS ensures him a place in the '70s R&B pantheon.