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Wild Cherry

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Biography

Ohio, United States

Rob Parissi (lead vocals & guitar) was raised in the tough, diverse steel mill town of Mingo Junction, Ohio. Parissi graduated from Mingo High School in 1968. Rob formed his first band in 1970 in Steubenville, Ohio, one mile north of Mingo Jct. along the Ohio River. The band’s name “Wild Cherry” was selected off a box of cough drops while Rob was recuperating from a brief hospital stay. The band played the Ohio Valley region, the West Virginia panhandle, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The original lineup is not known.

A demo was produced in 1970 under the label Staehle-Tudor with the A side entitled: You Ain’t Got Nobody. Several other records were released under their own label including You Can Be High (But Lay Low), date unknown; Something Special On Your Mind, 1971. The music at this stage was pure rock music, not funk. Wild Cherry eventually gained a record contract with Brown Bag Records. Several demos and singles were produced including and Get Down, 1973 (re-release of earlier self labeled demo); Voodoo Doll, 1975 and Show Me Your Badge, 1973. Voodoo Doll was produced and co-written by the prolific and successful songwriter Jeff Barry (of “The Monkeys” fame). Although Voodoo Doll (AM 45070) received distribution as far afield as Europe through A&M, it did not chart and no album was in sight.

The band broke up when a disillusioned Parissi left the music scene to become the manager of a local steakhouse. Rob quickly realized that the steak house gig was not going to “cut it - too tough.” As his enthusiasm for the music eventually returned, Rob decided to give the business one last shot.

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