HomePhoto albumPhoto Album #2Photo Album #3Photo Album #4Photo Album #5
Wild Cherry 1976 In Cleveland

Play That Funky Music would have never sounded the way it did, nor would we have ever been introduced to the record company that finally signed us if it weren't for the owner/engineer of Cleveland Recording, Ken Hamann.  Jimmy Fox, drummer from the James Gang was at the studio to pick up some tapes the day I was singing the lead and Ken Hamann ran out and yanked him in the control room. Upon hearing what I was doing, Jimmy asked me if he could have that song for the James Gang. Having known him and them because of running into them in between ours and their sessions more than a few times over the years, I said, " Hell no man, if you think it's that strong, I want US to have a damn hit".  Jimmy was managed by the same people that were also concert promoters in Cleveland and they were planning on branching out to also start their own record company, they just needed a hit project to push CBS (who was their potential distributor) over the edge to commit. Jimmy asked me if he could play it for them.  I agreed and Ken sent a copy down the street to them. They loved it, played it for Steve Popovich, then head of A&R at EPIC/CBS. Steve loved it, we got signed, and the rest is history. The bottm line is:  Ken Hamann never got the credit due him for Play That Funky Music.  He got so disgusted listening to me and Carl Maduri try to mix that song that one day he finally said, "If you'd just move over, I can mix this thing in 5 minutes".  The final mix of PTFM you hear to this day was that 5 minutes it took for him to nail it on the first try. 

Wild Cherry Publicity Photo, Summer 1976

Asbury Park, New Jersey, Summer 2004
PBS, Thanks TJ and Henry for inviting me there


The top picture on the right below with the girls in it was of a group "The Eighth Day" rehearsing in Bobby Vinton's basement for a live concert.  At that time, The Opus IV merged with half of another local group that already had a deal with Kapp records to form "The Eighth Day".  We had an album co-written by Ron Dante, who went on to produce Barry Manilow.  The album was produced by Bob Feldman, who wrote "My Boyfriend's Back", was one of the Strangeloves, and also produced Rick Derringer and the  McCoys, "Hang On Sloopy", as well as their other hits. Bob Feldman is also Cory Feldman's father.

Playing With Bobby Vinton at 15 years old
Bottom Left: Me and Mom with my first guitar on 6th Birthday Joe Gorlock & Vinton on bottom Right

The Opus IV was the first band I was part of that had a major record deal.  We were on MGM records, thanks to Bobby Vinton, who we were introduced to by Joe Gorlock, who helped Vinton make it and also owned a night club (Club 22) where we played almost every weekend.  We were so young that we had to have a chaperone with us at all times while we played anywhere where there was liquor served, and we played lots of area night clubs.  We also served as backup band on occasion for Vinton, and always had writers from the famous Brill Building in NYC writing songs for us, as well as recording in the best studios in the city.

Opus IV on upper left, w/Dick Clark on right
Bottom Left: w/Tony Dorsett, Bottom Right: w/Lynn Swann

My Best Friend And The Best Man I've Ever Known
My Dad And His Little Funky White Boy Snoozing

Enter supporting content here