Wild Cherrys claim to fame was the US number 1 and UK Top 10 funky dance single, Play That Funky Music, in 1976 has probably outlived the name of its creators in the minds of most fans. Wild Cherry was a white quintet formed that year in Steubenville, Ohio, USA. Its original membership comprised Robert Parissi (guitar/vocals) and other musicians although they never recorded; Parissi re-formed the band with new recruits Bryan Bassett (guitar), Allen Wentz (bass), Mark Avsec (keyboards) and Ronald Beitle (drums). The band took its name when Parissi, an accident victim laid-up in hospital, looked at a box of cherry-flavoured cough drops and liked what he saw. They recorded for a small record label owned by Terry Knight. The second line-up had the famous hit; signed to Epic Records, the band preferred hard rock but often played in discos where patrons would shout, Play that funky music, white boy. Writing a song around that phrase, they...
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