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The Meters

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New Orleans, United States (1965 – 1977)

The Meters were a band that performed and recorded from the late 1960s until 1977. They were based in New Orleans. While the band never enjoyed huge popular success, it was nonetheless greatly admired by cognoscenti and is considered one of progenitors of in the 1970s.

The Meters formed in 1965, with a line up of keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, and became the house band for Sansu Enterprises, an Allen Toussaint-owned label. In 1969, the Meters released “Sophisticated Cissy” and “Cissy Strut”, both major R&B chart hits; “Look-Ka Py Py” and “Chicken Strut” were also hits the following year. After a label shift in 1972, the Meters had difficulty returning to the charts, though they played on many important records by Dr. John, Paul McCartney, King Biscuit Boy, Labelle and Robert Palmer. The band broke up in 1977 after Toussaint claimed the rights to the name and they played as various incarnations of the Neville Brothers and with other bands. In 1989, The Meters reformed with the new official name, The Funky Meters, after an informal jam during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Original drummer Ziggy Modeliste, who started out with the group as a 17-year-old, laid down some very influential rhythms.

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