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Wild Cherry

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Bio

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
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Albums by
Wild Cherry

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    9 songs

    On Air

    Wild Cherry

    10 songs

    On Air

    Super Hits

    10 songs

    On Air

    I Love My Music

    10 songs

    On Air

    Electrified Funk

    8 songs

    On Air

    Wild Cherry

    9 songs

    On Air

    Only the Wild Survive


Top Songs by
Wild Cherry

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Play That Funky Music
  3.   That Funky Music
  4.   This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)
  5.   It's the Same Old Song
  6.   Don't Stop, Get Off
  7.   Take Me Back
  8.   Wild Cherry
  9.   Hold On to Your Hiney
  10.   Baby Don't You Know
  11.   No Way Out Love Affair
  12.   Try One More Time
  13.   What in the Funk Do You See
  14.   I Feel Sanctified
  15.   Lana
  16.   Are You Boogieing Around
  17.   Look at Her Dance
  18.   Play the Funky Music
  19.   Try a Piece of My Love
  20.   Get It Up
  21.   Nowhere to Run
  22.   99 1/2
  23.   Fools Fall in Love
  24.   If You Want My Love
  25.   It's All Up to You
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Wild Cherry

    On Air

    55 Greatest Old School Songs

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    Disco Hits

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    Old-School BBQ

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    Sing-A-Long Songs

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    Disco Inferno

    On Air

    Euphoric Hits

    On Air

    Singing In The Shower

    On Air

    Sweating to the Oldies

    On Air

    Oldies

    On Air

    Funk Classics

    On Air

    Classic Hits

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    Robin Gibb Tribute

    On Air

    Disco Deep Dive

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive


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