1969 The Meters – Cissy Strut
New Orleans musicians Art Neville on lead vocals and keyboards, Leo Nocentelli on guitar, Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste on drums, and George Porter Jr. on bass formed The Meters in the mid-sixties. The group is commonly credited with being the co-founders of funk music. They were the house band for the Sansu Enterprises record label in New Orleans and worked there as studio musicians for several years.
The band recorded and released their first charting single in 1968. Sophisticated Cissy stalled at #34 on the Hot 100 but reached #7 on the R&B chart.
Their second single did even better. Cissy Strut peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B chart in 1969.
While oldies radio has simply misplaced their copies of Cissy Strut, the song hasn’t been completely forgotten: Rolling Stone ranked Cissy Strut at #158 on their 2021 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The Meters reached the Hot 100 five more times but never reached the top forty again. The Rolling Stones invited the group to open for some of their shows in 1976 and 1977, and the Meters even appeared on the second episode of Saturday Night Live.
By 1980, the group had disbanded. Several members reformed the group in 1989 as The Funky Meters and played together for about a decade. Other groups billed variously as The Original Meters, The Meter Men, and The Meter Experience have kept the group’s music alive into the present day.
George, Ziagboo, and Leo continue to perform as members of the current version of the Meters.
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