The Neville Brothers

Last updated
The Neville Brothers
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Genres R&B, soul, funk
Years active1977–2012
Labels Capitol, Black Top, A&M, EMI, Columbia, Back Porch
Past members

The Neville Brothers were an American R&B/soul/funk group, formed in 1977 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe, which is 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.



The group notion started in 1976, when the four brothers of the Neville family, Art (1937-2019), Charles, (1938–2018), Aaron (b. 1941), and Cyril (b. 1948) came together to take part in the recording session of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardi Gras Indian group led by the Nevilles' uncle, George Landry ("Big Chief Jolly").

Art Neville American funk and R&B musician, singer, and songwriter

Arthur Lanon Neville was an American singer, songwriter and keyboardist from New Orleans.

Charles Neville (musician) American musician

Charles Neville was an American R&B and jazz musician best known as part of The Neville Brothers. Known onstage as "Charlie the horn man", his saxophone playing helped earn the group a Grammy Award for best pop instrumental performance.

Aaron Neville American musician

Aaron Joseph Neville is an American R&B and soul vocalist and musician. He has had four platinum albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three that went to #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. His debut single, from 1966, was #1 on the Soul chart for five weeks.

In 1987, the group released "Uptown" from EMI featuring guests including Branford Marsalis, Keith Richards, and Carlos Santana. The following year saw the release of Yellow Moon from A&M Records produced by Daniel Lanois. The track "Healing Chant" from that album won Best pop instrumental performance of the Grammy Awards 1989. [1]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Branford Marsalis American jazz musician

Branford Marsalis is an American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. While primarily known for his work in jazz as the leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, he also performs frequently as a soloist with classical ensembles and has led the group Buckshot LeFonque.

Keith Richards British songwriter, guitarist of The Rolling Stones

Keith Richards is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine called Richards the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011, and the magazine lists fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger on its "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.

In 1990, the Neville Brothers contributed "In the Still of the Night" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization.[ citation needed ]

"In the Still of the Night" is a popular song written by Cole Porter for the MGM film Rosalie sung by Nelson Eddy and published in 1937.

<i>Red Hot + Blue</i> 1990 compilation album by Various artists

Red Hot + Blue is the first in the series of compilation albums from the Red Hot Organization. The recording was the first in the Red Hot Benefit Series. It features contemporary pop performers reinterpreting several songs of Cole Porter, and the title of the album comes from Cole Porter's musical Red, Hot and Blue.

Red Hot Organization US-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture

Red Hot Organization (RHO) is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3, international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.

Also in 1990, they appeared on the bill at that year's Glastonbury Festival. [2] Due to Art Neville devoting more time to his other act, The Meters, the band kept a low profile in the late 1990s onto the early 2000s. They made a comeback in 2004, however, with the album, Walkin' In The Shadow Of Life, on Back Porch Records, their first newly recorded effort in five years.[ citation needed ]

Glastonbury Festival Performing arts festival in Somerset, England

Glastonbury Festival is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, England. In addition to contemporary music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, and other arts. Leading pop and rock artists have headlined, alongside thousands of others appearing on smaller stages and performance areas. Films and albums recorded at Glastonbury have been released, and the festival receives extensive television and newspaper coverage. Glastonbury is now attended by around 200,000 people, requiring extensive infrastructure in terms of security, transport, water, and electricity supply. The majority of staff are volunteers, helping the festival to raise millions of pounds for charity organisations.

The Meters American funk band

The Meters are an American funk band formed in 1965 by Zigaboo Modeliste (drums), George Porter Jr. (bass), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), and Art Neville (keyboards) in New Orleans. The band performed and recorded their own music from the late 1960s until 1977 and played an influential role as backing musicians for other artists, including Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, Dr. John, and Allen Toussaint. Their original songs "Cissy Strut" and "Look-Ka Py Py" are considered funk classics.

All brothers except Charles, a Massachusetts resident, had been living in New Orleans, but following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 Cyril and Aaron moved out of the city. They had not been performing in New Orleans since Katrina hit the city, however, they finally returned to perform there at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2008, being given the closing spot which had been reserved for them for years. [3] [4]

Hurricane Katrina Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 2005

Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the contiguous United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.

This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 2005.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Annual music festival

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The term "Jazz Fest" also refers to the days surrounding the festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the festival weekends.

Infrequently, Aaron's son Ivan Neville (keyboards) and Art's son Ian Neville (electric guitar), both of the band Dumpstaphunk, have played with the Neville Brothers.

The final Neville Brothers studio album, titled Walkin' in the Shadow of Life, was released in 2004. [5] The group formally disbanded in 2012 but reunited in 2015 for a farewell concert in New Orleans. [6]

Charles Neville died of pancreatic cancer on April 26, 2018, at the age of 79. [7]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed the Neville Brothers among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [8]

Art Neville died on July 22, 2019, at the age of 81. A cause of death has not yet been provided. [9]



YearSinglePeak positionsAlbum
1978"Washable Ink / Speed of Light"The Neville Brothers
1979"Sweet Honey Dripper / Dance Your Blues Away"single only
1981"Sitting In Limbo / Brother John / Iko Iko"Fiyo On The Bayou
1987"Whatever It Takes"Uptown
1989"Sister Rosa"7523Yellow Moon
"Yellow Moon"10021
"With God on Our Side"532647
1990"A Change Is Gonna Come"
"Bird on a Wire"53572Brother's Keeper
"River of Life"
1991"Sons and Daughters"
"Drift Away"19Treacherous Too! A History of The Neville Brothers
1992"Fly Like an Eagle"44866Family Groove
"One More Day"29
"On the Other Side of Paradise"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.

Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

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  1. "32nd Annual GRAMMY Awards". 2017-11-28. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  2. Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 471. CN 5585.
  3. Editorial, Reuters. "Neville Bros. return to New Orleans jazz festival". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  4. "The Neville Brothers' triumphant Jazzfest return". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  5. Spera, Keith (December 19, 2018). "Art Neville, founding member of the Neville Brothers and the Meters, has retired". The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
  6. Spera, Keith (May 3, 2015). "Neville Brothers farewell concert was both celebratory and confounding". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  7. Spera, Keith (April 26, 2018). "New Orleans legend Charles Neville, saxophonist for the Neville Brothers, dies at 79". The New Orleans Advocate. Archived from the original on 2018-04-27.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  10. "The Neville Brothers - German Chart". Retrieved 2014-04-06.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  11. "The Official Charts Company - The Neville Brothers". The Official Charts Company. 6 April 2014.Cite web requires |website= (help)