Born January 24, 1941, Aaron is the third of the four famous Neville Brothers of New Orleans. A product of that city's richly complex musical culture, his first vocal model was older brother Art, keyboardist and founder of the Meters. Brother Charles played sax with B.B. King while brother Cyril became Aaron's partner in a funk band they called the Soul Machine.
Throughout the sixties Aaron recorded for local Louisiana labels, but it wasn't until 1966 that he broke onto the national scene with "Tell It Like It Is," the plaintive ballad that went #1 on the pop charts, a song still considered a classic in the annals of American music. Issued on the obscure Par-Lo Records, the hit unfortunately coincided with the label's demise. With no follow-up and few royalties, Aaron's career stalled. Beset by demons both professional and personal, he struggled for the next ten years.
Aaron, Charles and Cyril gigged as The Wild Tchoupitoulas in New York before returning to New Orleans in 1976 to record the landmark album of the same name. The Wild Tchoupitoulas album celebrated the Indian tribe whose leader, George (Big Chief Jolly) Landry, was the brothers' beloved uncle and prime musical/spiritual inspiration. For the first time, all four Neville brothers recorded together.