Posted on May 3, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Tuesday, May 3 at 8:08 PM
Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – The home where Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint grew up, where his fabled mother-in-law likely visited, and where he penned some of the greatest hits in rock and roll history is now permanently etched into the New Orleans music lore.
Music historians and R&B fans gathered at the home at 3041 College Ct., where Toussaint wrote many of his classic songs, including the Ernie K-Doe standard “Mother-In-Law,” which hit the charts 50 years ago this week.
Toussaint was on hand for a ceremony, organized by Rob Florence and others, to unveil a plaque honoring the home as a place of music history. The home has since been sold to other owners, who were part of the ceremony, along with City Council member Stacy Head, who represents the neighborhood on the council.
“Mother-In-Law,” featuring Benny Spellman’s inimitable bass vocal on the chorus, was Toussaint’s first major hit and the first New Orleans single to reach #1 on the Billboard pop charts. Deacon John Moore, who played guitar on that historic recording, emceed Tuesday’s ceremony.
Toussaint and his family moved to the College Ct. home when he was a toddler.
He has said he learned to play the piano there and would later pen songs there. Some of the songs mentioned on the plaque are “Java” (a Grammy winner for Al Hirt); “I Like It Like That;” “All These Things;” “T’aint It the Truth” and “Hello My Lover.”
As always, Toussaint was humble in accepting the honor.
“I don’t know what to say but thank you. I came up in the best city in the world,” he said.