This Neville Brothers' song was a much-needed salute to Rosa Parks
Last week we focused on the artists of New Orleans and conspicuous by their absent was The Neville Brothers. We didn't forget them, we were just waiting for Feb. 4, the day which some people observe as Rosa Parks Day, as we feature the Nevilles and their tribute song Sister Rosa.
While Rosa Parks is not an official day, there are many who honor her on her birth date (Feb. 4) or December 1 - the day where Parks took her stand on racial injustice by refusing to move from her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. The Neville Brothers honored her in 1989 with the single Sister Rosa off their Yellow Moon album.
Sister Rosa did not chart in many places but was a minor hit on the U.S. R&B charts. The video for Sister Rosa starts off with actual startling footage of the signs that inhabited segregated America back in the '50s before returning to 1989 and using actors and the band to portray how the events of Dec. 1 went down.
Sister Rosa was around the time of a renaissance for the Neville family as later in 1989, Aaron Neville would have the smash duet with Linda Ronstadt, Don't Know Much, hit No. 2 on the pop charts. The Neville Brothers kept making music into the 21st century but have been pretty quiet lately as most of the brothers are in their 70s now.