Sissy Strut – The Meters | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#23) & R&B (#4); 1969

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In 1954 the Hawketts – with Art Neville on keyboards – cut Mardi Gras Mambo: a perennial favorite come party time. When Art joined the Navy in 1958, he was replaced by brother Aaron. By the time Art returned home, the Hawketts were history. In their place, Art formed Art Neville and The Neville Sounds along with Aaron and yet another brother, Cyril. The crack R&B outfit took up residency at the Ivanhoe in the French Quarter, where they were spotted by famed producer Allen Toussaint. In the studio, the Neville Sounds – now minus Aaron and Cyril – served as the backing band for artists such as Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris. They stepped out with their own release as The Meters in 1969 with a tasty slice of Crescent Soul called Sophisticated Cissy. It went to #7 R&B and was followed by the combo’s biggest ever hit, Sissy Strut. In addition, Billboard magazine named The Meters its top R&B instrumental album of the year.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Allen Toussaint
  • Marshall E. Sehorn

Lyrics Written by:

  • George Porter Jr.
  • Leo Nocentelli
  • Joseph Modeliste
  • Art Neville


  • Inducted to Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011
  • Won Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018
  • Ranked #158 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • Nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023