When I was 12 years old, Wild Cherry had a huge hit with “Play That Funky Music.” Like a lot of people, I did not think that they were saying “funky” — and that was doubtless part of the song’s appeal: the secret feeling that something not entirely reputable was going on. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a great song. It is, in fact, about as funky a song as there is. And I was surprised to learn that it was, in fact, a bunch of white boys playing such a funky song.
Wild Cherry is considered a “one hit wonder.” But I think that term should be reserved for bands that really only had one song to offer. Wild Cherry was a great band that put out four solid albums. What they lacked during the four years following “Play That Funky Music” was another strong single. I am surprised that the band didn’t do better on the R&B charts; they produced a lot of great music. But this is all they will be remembered for, although it is more than enough: