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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

Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works!
I played this tune in my first High School band back when I was Junior in '77. It was easy and really kicked...Fil l e d the dance floor in seconds...Br i n g s back those memories.
Alllll Yale I sure remember this brings back so many many good memories Go Pandora Go
DAAAAAAAAAAA A A A A A A A A M N GOOD SONG, no matter WHAT!!!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D
Always played in the 30-60 age group.
ttmayer1210
great memories!
Let's face the facts. This music makes u get your a** moving!!!
Wild Cherry's from Pittsburgh? Represent!
Got to agree with Mr. S. Clark about check your facts. I read some where I know they are wrong or met someone who know better. A couple of song I see they have even the name of them wrong but I did not know about this in time to comment.
mike56307
what is better than being someone's boogie man'.. cant get any better than that...
Be back in a minute
Funky. Music!!!!!
johnkuthe
Funky soul music is a HUMAN thing, not a white or black thing!! :-)
GREAT!!!!!
Who knew it was a white boy singing..... . j u s t like kc........lo v e it!
Ama!!!!!muev e l o !
Bad a** jam! ,lets dance!
i.m.jnice
I danced to this song back in '74 when they played the club The Aquanaut and before it became a hit!! Loved them!!
My all time favorite!!! Does my old heart good to hear it and to dance to it!!!!
19sandy62
Funky music. ...
on a RUSH station? I don't get it, but the sing brings back a lot of memories ;)
I hate disco. Did I mention that I hate disco ? How does this get on my Pandora station ?
One hit wonders? Pandora better check your facts.
lol lol
Ololo
Olo
Olo
Mom
Nary kik
Lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol
Lol more the people jock never funky.b**ch
I never knew who sang this song!
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 :-)
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