Austin City Limits closes out Season 46 with one of the most-requested episodes in the ACL archive: a vintage hour with the late New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, performing iconic gems from across his over half-century career. Originally broadcast over a decade ago in 2010, the installment remains one of the most enduring, entertaining hours in ACL’s history. The encore broadcast premieres Saturday, February 13 at 8pm CT/9pm ET, as the final offering for Season 46. The episode will be available to music fans everywhere to stream online beginning Sunday, February 14 @10am ET at pbs.org/austincitylimits. With live music on hold, ACL continues to provide viewers a front-row seat to the best in performance. The program airs weekly on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings for times) and full episodes are made available online for a limited time at pbs.org/austincitylimits immediately following the initial broadcast. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future Season 47 tapings, broadcast schedules and select live stream updates.
On the eve of Mardi Gras, ACL celebrates the exceptional life and career of Allen Toussaint on the heels of what would have been his 83rd birthday. Born and raised in New Orleans, Mr. Toussaint built a legendary career alongside America’s finest musicians, sustaining his beloved city’s rich tradition of rhythm, blues and jazz, lifting it to the national stage. The songwriting legend/musician/arranger/producer was a fixture of modern New Orleans music since the 1950s, penning or producing hits for Ernie K-Doe (“Mother-In-Law”), Lee Dorsey (“Working in the Coal Mine”), Glen Campbell (“Southern Nights”), the Pointer Sisters (“Yes We Can Can”) and LaBelle (“Lady Marmalade”), among many, many others. Toussaint was a de facto musical ambassador for the Crescent City, playing Nola’s Jazzfest virtually every year since the mid-1970s until his death in 2015. He wrote countless hit songs recorded by artists from all genres, produced hundreds of fantastic recordings, and created a steady stream of hits over the years, earning the unanimous respect of both artists and fans in New Orleans and beyond.
In this exuberant hour, Toussaint’s timeless standards live on as he performs a career-spanning set and shares the stories behind many of his best-known songs. Opening appropriately with the funky “There’s A Party Going On,” Toussaint cuts a dapper figure in a canary yellow suit and pocket square. He greets the crowd with a jovial “Tonight we’ll be doing songs that I’ve written for various folk over the years, and a few I wish I’d written.” He performs a thrilling medley of early highlights, including “A Certain Girl” and “Fortune Teller,” made famous in the 1960s by iconic acts such as The Yardbirds and The Rolling Stones. Toussaint dazzles on the piano, performing instrumental numbers from his acclaimed 2009 album The Bright Mississippi, demonstrating his love of jazz and what a magnificent left-handed pianist he was. “ Toussaint launches into “St. James Infirmary,” introducing it as “A tune that’s been floating around N’awlins forever, but it’s a wonderful song.” A set high point is the funky anthem “Yes We Can Can,” with unity conscious lyrics that continue to resonate today. He closes the sparkling hour with a vivid, spoken word intro to “Southern Nights,” the title track of his acclaimed 1975 solo album, inspired by childhood memories of the Louisiana countryside where his Creole cousins lived.
Allen Toussaint setlist:
There’s A Party Going On
A Certain Girl
Working in the Coal Mine
St. James Infirmary
Yes We Can Can (w/We Are America intro)
Get Out of My Life Woman
ACL’s Season 46 premiered in October 2020 with standout performances including 2021 Grammy nominees Rufus Wainwright and blues-soul luminary Ruthie Foster. In a year of profound loss, ACL saluted a trio of ACL greats we lost during 2020: legendary singer/songwriters John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker and Billy Joe Shaver. Season 46 featured many must-see ACL debuts including UK country-soul sensation Yola, 1970s outlaw country legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, acclaimed Austin breakout singer-songwriter/guitar ace Jackie Venson and dynamic husband-and-wife Americana duo The War And Treaty. The diverse season also featured the return of rock and country trailblazers The Mavericks for the first time in two decades with their first-ever Spanish language album. ACL celebrated iconic acts that have made history on the ACL stage with special hourlong retrospectives: Stevie Ray Vaughan: 30 Years On, celebrating the blues-rock guitar giant on the 30th anniversary of his tragic death, a silver anniversary celebration of rock superstars Foo Fighters, a five-decade career retrospective of western swing legends Asleep at the Wheel and Best of Spoon, spotlighting the acclaimed Austin band, now one of modern rock’s premier bands.
Tune-in, log on, and let ACL be a trusted sidekick for entertainment during these challenging days. Viewers can visit acltv.com for news regarding future Season 47 tapings, live streams and episode schedules or by following ACL on Facebook, Twitter, IG and TikTok. Fans can also browse the ACL YouTube channel for exclusive songs, behind-the-scenes videos and full-length artist interviews.
About Austin City Limits
Austin City Limits (ACL) offers viewers unparalleled access to featured acts in an intimate setting that provides a platform for artists to deliver inspired, memorable, full-length performances. Now in its 47th Season, the program is taped live before a concert audience from The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. Austin City Limits is the longest-running music series in television history and remains the only TV series to ever be awarded the National Medal of Arts. Since its inception, the groundbreaking music series has become an institution that’s helped secure Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World. The historic KLRU Studio 6A, home to 36 years of ACL concerts, has been designated an official Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Landmark. In 2011, ACL moved to the new venue ACL Live at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin. ACL received a rare institutional Peabody Award for excellence and outstanding achievement in 2012.
Austin City Limits is produced by Austin PBS, KLRU-TV and funding is provided in part by Dell Technologies, RigUp, the Austin Convention Center Department and Cirrus Logic. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Austin City Limits. Learn more about Austin City Limits, programming and history at acltv.com.