- From a small Ohio steel mill town named, Mingo Junction, comes Wild Cherry.
- The band’s name came from the brand of a cough drop band founder, Rob Parissi had in his pocket the day he endeavoured to come up with something creative!
- Wild Cherry were active from 1970-1973 before, disillusioned, they parted company. In 1975, Rob decided to give it another go. With a new set of musicians, he hit the road again.
- One night, at the 2001 Club in Pittsburgh, a group of Afro-American fans kept coming to the stage and teasing, “Are you white boys gonna play some funky music?” Drummer Ron Beitle took up the teasing and, in a group meeting in the dressing room, said to the band, “Play That Funky Music, White Boy.” Rob was inspired – in five minutes he’d written the song with a pen he borrowed from the bartender.
- The band was signed to Sweet City Records (Epic/CBS) on the strength of the song’s potential.
- Over the next few years the band changed line-up a number of times before disbanding in 1979.
play that funky music fax
- Play That Funky Music was written by Rob Parissi and recorded by his band Wild Cherry. Recorded in 1975, it was released in 1976.
- Play That Funky Music hit #1 on the US singles chart on September 18, 1976. It eventually sold over 2.5 million copies in the US alone.
- The song listed at no. 73 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All Time.
- In 1990, Vanilla Ice released a song that included an interpretation of Play That Funky Music. He didn’t credit Rob as the songwriter and was later forced to pay $500,000 in a copyright infringement lawsuit. Vanilla’s version didn’t initially catch on, but the B-side did. On re-release, Play That Funky Music peaked at #4 on the US charts and #10 in the UK.
play that funky music – wild cherry – 1976 – video
follow seventiesmusic on facebook.