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."