This song is the property of Epic Records.
Wild Cherry was an American rock/funk band that rose to prominence during the 1970s. The band’s name was taken from a box of cough drops. Formed in Steubenville, OH in 1968, the group initially consisted of Robert Parissi (lead vocals, guitar), Ben Difabbio (drums, vocals), Louie Osso (guitar, vocals), Larry Brown (bass, vocals) and Larry Mader (keyboards,vocals). Over time, the band’s lineup changed, with Osso, Brown and Mader being replaced by Coogie Stoddart (guitar, vocals) and Joe Buchmelter (bass,vocals). Buchmelter was soon replaced by Bucky Lusk. The band played the Ohio Valley region, the Northern West Virginia panhandle, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the 1970s, Wild Cherry recorded several singles, including “You Can Be High (But Lay Low)” and “Something Special On Your Mind.” At this point, the music was rock oriented. Wild Cherry eventually signed a recording contract with Brown Bag Records, where they released the singles “Get Down” and “Show Me Your Badge.” The band broke up shortly thereafter. Parissi reformed the band in 1975. The new lineup consisted of Bryan Bassett (guitar, vocals), Allen Wentz (bass, vocals), Ronald Beitle (drums) and Parissi. After the band developed a following in the Pittsburgh area, disco became increasingly popular, and they were repeatedly asked by listeners to play more dance music. While working on song ideas, Beitle recalled a fan asking when the band would play some funky music. Inspired to write a song based on the inquiry, Parissi began with a drink order and a pen borrowed from a bartender. After the band recorded the song, Ken Hamann brought the band to the attention of Sweet City Records, distributed by Epic/CBS, which signed the group. Parissi intended to record the song as the B side to a cover of The Commodores hit “I Feel Sanctified”, but the label suggested it as an A side. “Play That Funky Music” was released in 1976, and went on to reach No. 1 on both the Billboard R&B and Pop charts. However, it was the only hit on Wild Cherry’s debut album. None of Wild Cherry’s three subsequent albums achieved commercial success. They were: “I Love My Music”, “Only The Wild Survive” and “Electrified Funk.”