Cissy Strut

Album: The Meters (1969)
Charted: 23

Songfacts®:

  • New Orleans R&B and funk band The Meters formed in 1966 with a line-up of keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste. They released their self-titled debut album three years later, which spawned two Top 40 singles, "Sophisticated Cissy" (#34) and Cissy Strut, (#23). After a label shift in 1972, the Meters struggled to return to the charts but their pioneering funk sound gained the respect of such legends as The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. They also played an influential role as backing musicians for other artists, including Lee Dorsey and Dr John. The group disbanded in 1977 when Art formed the Neville Brothers with his brothers Aaron, Charles and Cyril.
  • Nocentelli explained to Gibson.com that he penned this song to replace their traditional opener. Said Nocentelli: "There was a club on Bourbon Street. This is before The Meters, man. We were called Art Neville and the Neville Sounds. Art Neville was the elder statesman in the group, he already had a group called The Hawkettes. By the time we got to a club called the Ivanhoe, it was George [Porter Jr.] and Zig [Modeliste] and myself and Art. That was really The Meters, but we weren't called The Meters. We used to play Top 40 stuff. And most of the bands, all of the bands had an opening song that they'd play before they'd actually get into their set. And one of the songs that everybody kind of played was a song called 'Hold It.' And everybody played it, man. I got sick of playing that, so I wrote 'Cissy Strut.' The melody came out and I introduced it to George, Art and Zig. And we started opening the set with 'Cissy Strut,' but it didn't have a name or anything. It was just that song, that opening song. That's how that happened. We recorded the song, and it was named 'Cissy Strut' long after I wrote it."

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyArt Neville passed away on July 22nd, 2019 at his home in New Orleans, he was 81 years old...
    He was a founding member of the Neville Brothers and the Meters. Known as 'Poppa Funk', Neville was a staple of the New Orleans music scene, who helped shape the city’s signature sound...
    The Meters, formed in 1965, were among the originators of funk, performing their own songs as well as backing artists including Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, and Doctor John. They were honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018...
    In 1977, Neville founded the Neville Brothers along with his brothers Aaron, Charles, and Cyril. Their notable songs include “Sister Rosa” and “Healing Chant,” which won a Grammy Award in 1989...
    In 1975 he played the Hammond organ the Labelle's #1 hit, "Lady Marmalade"...
    In later years, Neville formed the Funky Meters along with some members of the original group...
    He continued playing with them until his retirement in late 2018...
    May he R.I.P.
    As noted above, "Cissy Strut" peaked at #23 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart in 1969...
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Queen

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Music Video Director David Hogan

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.