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Wild Cherry

One-hit wonders Wild Cherry was led by Rob Parissi (singer, guitarist, songwriter), who originally formed the group in 1970. Influenced by the likes of the Yardbirds and Sly & the Family Stone (and named after a flavor of cough drops), the group played around their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and even inked a recording contract with Brown Bag Records (led by former Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight). But the group never issued any albums for the label and split up in 1975. Understandably dejected, Parissi turned his back entirely on music, selling all the band's equipment and for a while, managing a local steakhouse. But it wasn't long before Parissi's interest in music returned and he formed a new version of Wild Cherry with a whole new lineup, including Mark Ausec (keyboards), Bryan Bassett (guitar), Allen Wentz (bass), and Ronald Beitle (drums).

The group was still mostly rock-based and with the public's attention shifting to more dance-oriented styles (namely disco), the group was accosted nightly between sets by fans who wanted them to "Play that funky music." It wasn't long before Parissi took heed and penned a song under the same title, an infectious ditty that merged funk and rock together. The quintet entered a studio shortly thereafter to record the track (although they felt that a cover of the Commodores song "I Feel Sanctified" stood more of a chance of becoming a hit). A friend of an engineer at the studio overheard the track, eventually bringing it to the attention of Epic Records, which in turn signed the group.

"Play That Funky Music" became a monster hit in 1976, peaking at number one on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts, while both the single and Wild Cherry's self-titled debut obtained platinum certification. Wild Cherry was rewarded with a number of accolades shortly thereafter, including being named Best Pop Group of the Year by Billboard, receiving an American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year, and even earning a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Vocal Group and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo. But Wild Cherry proved to be susceptible to the dreaded sophomore jinx and as their follow-up recording, 1977's Electrified Funk, failed to spawn any hits and sunk from sight shortly after its release, as did such further releases as 1978's I Love My Music, plus 1979's Only the Wild Survive and Don't Wait Too Long; Wild Cherry split up the same year (with Parissi eventually turning up later as a disc jockey in Wheeling, WV). Wild Cherry's lone hit remains a favorite in dance clubs to this day, as a pair of collections were issued after their split: Play the Funk and Super Hits. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Still funks me up.
He so funky like bodil40
My old school rocks.
Play That Funky Music!
Beast song ever
Love the 70s
I love that music?
I like cherries!!!
Ahhhh the 70's
Rob Parissi is my third cousin.....I am from Wheeling, W.Va. - born and raised there!
thewritechoi c e . k i m
Great memories of my Jr. High Days - Never went to a dance that didn't play....even through HS and College
This is still the jaaammmm!! I am 54 years young and can still shake the 48.
Play that funky music wite boy I was jamin to 4 an hour
play that funky music white boyieeeeee i love this song it always puts me in a good mood......
Play the funky music white boy!!��
such a GREAT song-have to dance to it!
love singin this one karaoke... always burns down the house
I love the cover much.....:)
Does anybody ever heard the song strange it's a classic rock song, if anybody can help me out id appreciate it.
The Dick Panthers are better.
Play that funky music til you die!

I'll be listening right up to the end!

Loved to play that funky music as a kid in PA when it first came out.

Still groovin on da funk and discovering more all the time because of pandora.

Budos band. Orgone. Bamboos. Menahan street band. All new to me and way funky :-)
Weird pictures
Are you kidding me?
This freaked me out. This isn't fake. Apparently if you copy and paste this on ten comments you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out.if you break the chain you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry.
larryparker6
I never get tired of Play That Funky Music!
txboi777
Yes
wyteboi1122
Play that funky music white boy! :3
this old heart of mine , it's the same old song, hold on, too bad they didn't make it . i thought they were great.
This song is an all time favorite, even at H.A. parties!!!
Because i'm a 60,s baby.
i just feel like it some times. going back.
Wild Cherry played MY kinda white-boy music....... . . . i miss em!!!
durmoc
this is cool
shake that funcky music white boy
Dont read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Fri. by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However,if u don't post this u will die in 2 days. Now that you've started reading this don't stop. This is scary but post this on at least 5 songs in 143 min. When done press f6 and Th name of your lover will appear on the screen in big letters, it really works
luannecarrol l
Rob was from Mingo Jct. Ohio - NOT Pittsburgh, PA!!!!!
great song!!!!!
wernherb4
Classic song
Play that funky Wht boy......... . . . .
Awesome Song!!!
Play that funky music right boys play that funky music till u die
Incredible. They just couldn't go any further than their one hit song.
jacquelinecl a y 1 9 6 2
well they are old enough to know about this era
There is truth in this song. Most artists from a previous decade could not transition to the newer sounds, such as funk or disco, The Cowsills, for example, although a very young band could not seem to get into it, which is odd.

The only difference between rock and roll, of the 1960s if you include the garage music which has it's own distinctive 'funk' is that of emphasis on where the beat is.
lotz25
Dance till you drop....
Lay down and play that funky music till you die!! Lol the good o'l days
Never gets old.
Play that funky music white boy
Love this song
Play that f u c king music white boy...
Play that funky music white boyyy!!
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