Wild Cherry’s Play that Funky Music White Boy

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Wild Cherry’s Play that Funky Music White Boy

Wild Cherry's Play that Funky Music White Boy

Funk Rock Music

The song was written by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rob Parissi, who was the front man for the funk group Wild Cherry.  Parissi wanted a hit and studied the songs on the charts. “Play That Funky Music White Boy” is based, more or less on “Fire” by The Ohio Players. Well, “Play That Funky Music White Boy” was wildly successful, rising in 1976 to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart. It sold more than two million records and earned RIAA platinum status. Wild Cherry released it as a single, backed with “The Lady Wants Your Money” and then on their 1976 album titled, not surprisingly, Wild Cherry.

The group was active from 1970 until 1979. On “Play That Funky Music White Boy” were Parissi (lead vocal), Bryan Bassett (electric guitar), Allen Wentz (bass), and  Ron Beitle (drums). Session musicians included Jack Brndiar (trumpet), Joe Eckert and Rick Singer (saxophone). After 1979, Parissi became a record producer, interested in a number of genres, including smooth jazz.

Here are the lyrics to “Play That Funky Music White Boy” by Wild Cherry:

Hey do it now yeah hey

Yeah, once I was a boogie singer
Playin’ in a rock and roll band
And I never had no problems yeah
Burnin’ down the one night stands
And everything around me, yeah
Got to stop to feelin’ so low
And then  I decided quickly, yes I did
To disco down and check out the show
Yeah they was

Dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, oh yeah yeah

I tried to understand this
I thought that they were out of their minds
How could I be so foolish (How could I)
To not see I was the one behind
So still I kept on fighting
Well, losing every step of the way
I said, I must go back there (I got to go back)
And check to see if things still the same
Yeah they was dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, yeah
Whoah till you die

Hey wait a minute…

Now first it wasn’t easy
Changin’ Rock and Roll and minds and things were getting shaky
I thought I’d have to leave it behind
Oh but now it’s so much better (it’s so much better)
I’m funking out in every way
But I’ll never lose that feelin’ (no I won’t)
Of how I learned my lesson that day
When they were dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’
And just when it hit me somebody turned around and shouted
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till you die
Till you die, yeah
Oh’ till you die

They shouted play that funky music
(Play that funky music)
Play that funky music
(You gotta keep on playin’ funky music)
Play that funky music
(Play that funky music)
Play that funky music
(Come and take you higher, ya)
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right, yeah
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right
Play that funky music white boy
Play that funky music right…

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Play That Funky Music White Boy” by Wild Cherry.

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