Today, August 19th, 2019, New Orleans music legend Ivan Neville celebrates his 60th birthday.
Earlier this year, in honor of his vast contributions to the New Orleans music world over the course of his 40+ year career—and in celebration of Neville’s 60th birthday later this year—musical non-profit 30 Amp Circuit announced Ivan Neville as the first-ever recipient of their Songbook Award, “an honorarium for artists who have created a lifetime’s worth of songs, performances and unique musical memories, but have never received the level of public support that their artistry warrants.”
The distinction was celebrated with a special “Through the Ages” performance at New Orleans’ Le Petit Theatre during the 50th-anniversary New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in early May which benefitted the Musicians Clinic of New Orleans.
In honor of Ivan’s birthday today, check out a newly released clip of Neville explaining the origins of his very first single, “Not Just Another Girl”, and performing it for the enthralled Le Petit crowd.
As Neville explained, his debut record, If My Ancestors Could See Me Now, was coming out as he was on tour with Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) and his solo outfit, The X-Pensive Winos. On that tour, Neville would open the shows with his band, then play with Keith for his headlining set. At the time, Neville was still partying—a fact which would essentially split his evenings in half.
“I would kind of try to be legit for our gig. I was somewhat legit,” Neville explained. “And then soon as our set was over, I was going to the dressing room, I was a Wino. I was with Keith and ’em. Those were some days…”
The now-sober Neville went on to explain how the record hit the Billboard charts, but likely stalled on its rise through the ranks due to his race. However, he noted with his added decades of perspective, “But I’m still here. You know what? If it would have done really great and I would have made all that money back then, I guarantee you I probably wouldn’t be here.”
Watch the full video below:
Ivan Neville – “Not Just Another Girl” – Performance & Backstory
[Video: 30Amp Circuit]
Ivan Neville’s If My Ancestors Could See Me Now is now available on streaming platforms for the first time. You can listen to the record below:
Ivan Neville – If My Ancestors Could See Me Now (1988) – Full Album
You can learn more about 30Amp Circuit and the story of their inception on the organization’s website.