Chart Performance: R&B (#1 for 2 weeks) and Pop (#1 for 3 weeks); 1976
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
A box of cough drops and a dissatisfied disco fan played key roles in the story of this funk classic. In 1974, band founder/ lead singer Bob Parissi was recuperating in the hospital, and his group was in need of a name. Spying a box of cough drops next to his bed, Parissi jokingly suggested “Wild Cherry” to his fellow musicians. The name stuck even though the band struck out. After managing steakhouses for awhile, Bob reformed Wild Cherry with new members, only to find the clubs that had once welcomed WC’s brand of hard rock were now courting the disco crowd. The dance fans were none too happy with Wild Cherry’s song selection. One night someone in the crowd yelled out, “play that funky music.” Backstage, Parissi quickly jotted down the words to WC’s future hot hit on an order pad from the bar. Upon release, Play That Funky Music topped both the rhythm and pop lists, and became the third-ever platinum certified single.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
- Rob Parissi
Lyrics Written by:
- Rob Parissi
- Top 40 Weekly Top Songs of the 70s Chart Position: #29