Play That Funky Music
In 1976, it was a hot summer. Weather records were broken in the UK. Tarmac melted, refrigerators stopped working, and in London, we thought we would melt. At the same time, there was a perfect record around, to increase the funk of the funkiest year in decades.
Wild Cherry was a group of white men from America, but they sounded authentically black, in every way possible. From the instrumentation to the vocals, you would swear that you were hearing the latest afro-haired sensation from Philadelphia. In fact, they were from Ohio, and West Virginia, with their roots in the backwoods country music of that region. They later re-formed, with new members from Pittsburgh and Detroit, and discovered a new sound, during the early days of disco.
This single release from the eponymous album was a huge hit, all over the world, especially in the group’s homeland of America. Like many before them though, they failed to follow up on this early success, and never managed to repeat the sales with subsequent album releases. They broke up in 1980, but left us with this unique sound, a white band playing the funkiest black music you could imagine.