In late 1966, as soon as a song titled "Tell It Like It Is" exploded onto the pop music scene and quickly shot as much as #2 on Billboard"s Hot 100 and also #1 on Billboard"s Hot R&B surveys, no one can have actually been even more surprised than its singer, a then-25-year-old New Orleanian called Aaron Neville.

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The voice behind the song was unchoose any kind of ever heard in the Amerideserve to renowned music canon as much as that point. The smooth, heartfelt crooning of the distinctly pronounced lyrics, mostly delivered in a seemingly effortless falsetto selection and also ornamented via an opera-prefer coloratura trill, instantly wowed radio deejays and also listeners nationwide. "Tell It Like It Is" offered over a million copies and was awarded a Gold Disc.

"It was a good song, yet I really didn"t think it was the one," Neville redubbed throughout a current phone intersee from his farm in upstate New York. "I assumed it was simply an additional ballad, but my brother Art sassist, "No, this is it, best right here. This is a hit." The following thing I know, it was running up the charts."

Aaron Neville"s singing career might have actually peaked and also finished best there, and also he might have actually gone dvery own in musical history as simply an additional one-hit wonder. His follow-up records did not execute well, and he was required to work at menial tasks to assistance his young family.


However before, the vocal pipes that some music reviewers have termed "angelic" and also "the just voice prefer it on the planet" could not be held back indefinitely. Teaming up as lead vocalist for The Neville Brothers in the mid-1970s via his brothers Art (keyboards), Charles (saxophone), and Cyril (percussion and also vocals), Aaron resurrected his singing career. It blossomed into a Cinderella success story that would proceed for the next 4 years. And, after pairing up on duets via Linda Ronstadt in the late 80s, he was fully back in the public eye, which caused a string of #1 singles in the 1990s, plus countless awards, accolades, and also concert days international.

Today, at 78 years old, Neville can still hit his tradenote high notes, as he demonstrated over the phone through a complete musical bar during this interwatch. Those notes will be heard on some of his best-recognized songs at this year"s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 4, when he performs as component of the Aaron Neville Quintet on the Gentilly Stage, from 4:00 - 5:05 p.m.

He will also sing a few numbers with Trombone Shorty and also Orleans Avenue on Sunday, May 5, closing out this year"s festival on the Acura Stage, and also will perhaps also get involved in a tribute to Allen Toussaint on the very same stage, just prior to his very own performance.

During the interwatch, Neville wouldn"t speculate on which of his songs he could be singing in the time of his segment. "There"ll be some old ones and some brand-new ones. That"s what we perform," he sassist. "It"s gonna be a great show-a power hour."

He did, but, hint that "Tell It Like It Is" might be on the program.

He additionally hinted that various other household members could be joining him onphase, including one or both of his sons, Jaboy and also Ivan, talented musicians in their very own appropriate. Or probably his sister Athelgra, among the singers in The Dixie Cups, who will certainly be preceding him on the very same stage, and also possibly even younger brvarious other Cyril.


Neville"s Jazz Fest appearance can be his just concert date in New Orleans this year. When asked how regularly he gets to return to his previous hometvery own, his sad reply was, "Not often enough. The only time I play dvery own tbelow is at Jazz Fest.

"They do not hire me for anything anyeven more. I supplied to perform the House of Blues. I did the French Quarter Fest a pair of years earlier. But now, they don"t hire me. I go almost everywhere else in the human being, yet New Orleans gets me just as soon as a year," he included, with traces of sadness apparent in his voice.

Snippets of Neville"s at an early stage life and his struggles throughout the lean years between "Tell It Like It Is" and also the later on success of The Neville Brothers are told in a 2000 book titled The Brothers Neville, by The Neville Brothers and David Ritz (reperceived in the October 2000 issue of Wbelow Y"at).

"But I didn"t tell whatever , so I have to create an additional one," Neville sassist through a soft laugh.

Born right into a musical family members in 1941, Aaron Joseph Neville was the third earliest kid after Arthur Jr. (Art) and Charles. Alengthy via his brothers and also other household members, consisting of aunts, uncles and also cousins, he prospered up on Valence Street in the city"s 13th Ward.

Among his childhood friends was Leo Morris, who later, as Idris Muhammad, ended up being a renowned jazz drummer via a lengthy association with pianist Ahmad Jamal. It was Morris that introduced Neville to his future wife, Joel Roux, in 1957, once they were both 18. They married two years later on and continued to be married until 2007, once Joel yielded to cancer.

For a brief time after "Tell It Like It Is" hit the charts, Neville took pleasure in the thrill of touring via various other top-offering artists to such venerated theaters as the Apollo in New York and also others in pop music centers like Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and even more.

But the lean years of the late 60s and also at an early stage 70s found Neville struggling with drug addiction and also financial woes that seriously strained-yet didn"t end-his marital relationship. Finding his faith, he obtained clean, rejoined through his wife and youngsters, and also proceeded dvery own the road to recoextremely that caused even greater fame than he had well-known formerly.

In a 1976 recording session produced by Allen Toussaint for Island also Records, Neville and his brothers backed up their uncle, George Landry (well-known as Big Chief Jolly) of the Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indian people. From tright here, The Neville Brothers, as a performing team, was born, recording their initially album under that name 2 years later.

With Aaron singing lead in his trademark falsetto, the group took off in the 1980s through a string of studio and also live albums, consisting of the highly acdeclared Fiyo on the Bayou (1981) and also Yellow Moon (1989). Also in 1989, Neville"s star climbed also better when he and Linda Ronstadt videotaped their Grammy Award-winning duet album, Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind.

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Two songs from the album, "Don"t Kcurrently Much" and also "All My Life," hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and also the album was certified Triple Platinum for sales of even more than 3 million.

Throughout the 90s, Neville ran off a sequence of peak hits as a solo artist, consisting of "Don"t Take Ameans My Heaven," "Can"t Sheight My Heart From Loving You," and cover versions of "Everybody Plays the Fool" and also "Please Come Home for Christmas." He also continued to perdevelop and document via The Neville Brothers while prospering with his solo career into the early 2000s.


Catastrophe struck in 2005 as soon as Hurricane Katrina floodwaters ruined Neville"s residence in New Orleans East. Evacuating to the Northshore, then to Nashville and New York, he has just returned periodically to his old hometvery own since then, most notably for his wife Joel"s funeral in 2007.

A year later, throughout a People magazine photo shoot, Neville met photographer Sarah A. Friedguy, and also they were married on November 12, 2010, in New York City. He has continued to document as a solo act via his own backup band also, releasing 3 CDs in the past six years: My True Story (reregarded in Wbelow Y"at in May 2013), Bring It On Home … The Soul Classics, and his latest, Apache, a repertoire of all-original tunes, including a sentipsychological tribute to his new wife, titled "Sarah Ann."

Neville proceeds to tour to cities big and small, mainly in the Northeast, but his heart and his roots will certainly constantly reprimary in New Orleans. He shelp he is looking forward to this year"s Jazz Fest and also helping to celebprice its 50th anniversary.

For many kind of years, The Neville Brothers were the cshedding act on the festival"s main phase, yet, through the retirement of Art and also the current passing of Charles, this is no longer feasible. However, this year, Aaron will be rather resurrecting that closing tradition when he joins Trombone Shorty onstage at the festival"s finale through Neville"s boy Ivan and also his nephew Ian, who is Art"s son and the lead guitarist for Dumpstaphunk, that is also percreating on the Acura Stage on Thursday, May 2.

Aaron expects to be singing two of his favorites during his guest appearance: "Yellow Moon," the title track of The Neville Brothers" album by the same name, and also the spiritual classical hymn "Amazing Grace."

Closing out the intersee, Aaron sent an appeal to the people of the city where he was born and also raised and also that he still loves: "Just don"t forgain to tell New Orleans that I"m still about."