memories of the ’70s – Play That Funky Music

For late summer 1976, radio playlists all included this gem: Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry.

Written by Rob Parissi, the band had reformed after the previous band members had broken up.

With a renewed devotion to music, Parissi formed the band again with a new lineup in 1975, gaining a following in Pittsburgh, thanks to band members Bryan Basset and Ron Beitle, who were from there.

With the increasing devotion to disco, many fans who came to see the band asked for more dance music, inspiring Parissi to write the song Play That Funky Music.

While in the studio to record Play That Funky Music, the engineer thought the song was a hit, and brought it to the attention of Sweet City Records, who signed the band. Released in early summer 1976, Play That Funky Music headed up the Billboard charts, on both the Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B charts.

Hitting the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1976 for three weeks, the band’s self-titled debut album and the single went platinum.

The band was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won the American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year.



About Waheeda Harris

A pop culture junkie with a penchant for exploring our planet.
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