The late, great Allen Toussaint and Glen Campbell go way back. I was present for one of the greatest introductions in show business history:
My favorite example of Toussaintian show biz hyperbole came at a benefit concert. He was the founder of New Orleans Artists’ Against Hunger and Homelessness. That particular year Little Feat were the headliners; in addition to playing a set with his own band, Allen acted as Emcee. The high point for me came when he introduced special guest Glen Campbell as “a dear friend and the greatest man in the world.” I thought I’d died and gone to show biz hyperbole heaven. I didn’t blame Allen for feeling that way: Campbell’s version of his song Southern Nights was a huge hit.
Allen Toussaint wrote Southern Nights for the album of the same name in 1975. He gets the first word:
Ladies and gentlemen welcome back, Mr. Glen Campbell:
New Orleans represents again with a version by Galactic drummer Stanton Moore with special guests Nicholas Payton and Wendell Pierce. That’s right: Bunk from The Wire and Antoine from Treme.
Swingadelic styles itself as NYC metro’s greatest little big band. Why the hell not?
Finally, jazz chanteuse Lizz Wright with her take on the Toussaint classic.
What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without jazz Instrumental versions of the week’s tune? This time, Mississippi sax wizard Ace Cannon followed by the dueling pianos of Allen Toussaint and Van Dyke Parks.
That’s it for this week. Let’s raise a glass in memory of two Great Americans, Allen Toussaint and Glen Campbell. I couldn’t find a picture of the two together so this picture of Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Allen, and Aaron Neville will just have to do: