64 Parishes

NOLA 300 Music

Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello and a fan from Liverpool

Musicians, authors, artists, filmmakers and others share their favorite New Orleans songs.

Published: September 3, 2018
Last Updated: December 3, 2018

When things first started, Earl Palmer had the scene tied up. He was offered a lot of money so he went out to California, and they used to say they had to use two drummers in his place when he wasn’t playing. – Dr. John, speaking to author John Broven for his seminal 1973 book “Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans”

Rebirth [Brass Band] discarded the sweet lyricism of the old standards for a grittier attack on the saxophones and trumpet . . . Rebirth’s root sound was the second-line rhythm, the winding percussive backbeat that drives the dancers who engulf the band in street parades. – Jason Berry, writing in the updated 2009 version of “Up From the Cradle of Jazz”

He thrilled us in our early days in Liverpool . . . one of my favourite rock and roll singers. - Paul McCartney, writing on the occasion of Fats Domino’s passing
Allen Toussaint and I were walking across the lobby of a fine but nearly deserted hotel, located just across Canal Street from the French Quarter. An older gentleman had just entered the rear door and was coming toward us when he recognized Allen and stopped in his tracks. His grim expression lit up. He became elated and emotional, grasping and shaking Allen’s hand vigorously, as if his very presence were a sign that all was not lost in the shattered city. He didn’t speak at first, but his expression said, “If you are back, then we are all back.” I had never doubted that Allen was a prince in thin disguise. – Elvis Costello, writing in his 2015 book “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink.” His collaboration with Mr. Toussaint, 2006’s “The River in Reverse,” was nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy award that year.