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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
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Wild Cherry

1. Play That Funky Music

2. The Lady Wants Your Money

3. 99 1/2

4. Don't Go Near The Water

5. Nowhere To Run

6. I Feel Sanctified

7. Hold On

8. Get It Up

9. What In The Funk Do You See

Comments

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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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play that funky music white boy!
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The lyrics listed are not the lyrics to this song
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The attached lyrics are all wrong. Not this song at all!!
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Love this song
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Weird picture
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jimmyray6972
Hey let's get funky
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fotonut73
Lay down that booty and play that music till you die! (I M WIGGLING MY BOOTY TO THIS SONG) TWERK TWERK TWERK, MMMM
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10,000th like
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Here it is 2016 and it's still funky
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That "white boy" can play that funky music!!! Hey wait a min. I'm white,or am I??
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Awesome
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Makes you just wanna dance
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Play that funky music wild cherry!!!...
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I'm only 12 but this is my favorite song
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I love this song!!!
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Made Dr. Hook proud. You dig.
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Raised hearing this and I blast it on the weekends sometimes my 12yr old son dances to this too.lol
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Man, every time I hear this song, it takes me back to the 70's. It is a real statement that even today, the best music you hear is 70's and 80's stuff. When I hear the playlist at my son's high school baseball workouts and practices, it is like hearing my own iPod playlist. My son's walk-up music when he is batting is Jungle Boogie and it really gets the parents going.
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LOL - Teancoffey. This is one of the most recognized song of our time. Dance clubs everywhere still play it. It's playing somewhere right now...and people are DANCING. ;)
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gwend80916
Teancoffey, you must be very young. Lol, one of the best songs of the era.
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teancoffey
Ok????? Weirdest song ever
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One of the funkiest songs ever!
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franpick75
Good job
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One of the best crossover songs ever. It still gets played on black radio stations til this day. WILD CHERRY 4 LIFE.
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GREAT SONG FOR ANY PARTY. REMINDS ME OF A GUY NAMED PAUL MOREZ, MAY HE REST IN PEACE....
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rookie2172
8yrs old and dancing in the streets with all my sisters hot friends, shuu got old quick !!!
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jimmyray6972
Lets get funky
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i love this song
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Read these comments. Then you will know what drugs do to the brain.
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They were from Steubenville , Ohio .
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I Wonder if the SteakHouse is still in Bussiness?
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Hey mate if your winding this is the foll song
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They aren't from Pittsburgh, they're from Mingo Junction, Ohio
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This is the best song ever from a white funky guy....i was young and still love this song
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That was the song
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mariaberry66
I will never get tired of this song!
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Dang, wish I lived when music was good
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Play That Funky Music White Boy still lives
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Ohh , and love the album cover hehe
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Movn' to the groovn' haa jammn'
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bjboeshans
Dis ma jam
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Jocelyn wer ot. It Jocelyn vs loved?@, goood happ2
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Play that funky music WHITE BOY !! Yea!
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I still luv this song
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vdog2003
I LOVE THIS SONG
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#PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC WHITE BOY!!!!!!!
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my ish
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i love this song and that song cover by Adam Lambert of this song was amazing
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