June 11, 1976 Wild Cherry releases Play That Funky Music! (via vh1.com)
When I was five years old, I began classical piano lessons with Mrs. Stumpf (somewhat an unfortunate name, yes?) She was a friend of my mother’s friend Pat Coughlin.
Mrs. Stumpf had her hands full when I came into her home. I hated lessons. She made me play this stupid Alfred book. I couldn’t concentrate. The piano light was in my eyes. The seat was uncomfortable. She smelled like old lady perfume, and a full hour lesson was too long. So poor Mrs Stumpf (I like saying her name after all) decided to try two half-hour lessons per week instead.
GREAT! Now I had to see her twice. So I bitched and moaned and finally my mother JOAN started bribing me with bowling after the lesson. Joan was a good bowler. She had her own ball and shoes and everyone knew my mom at the bowling alley. I liked bowling. I still do but it screws up my back and my fingers (oh to be young again). Anyway (what was I talking about?)
Oh yeah, Mrs. Stumpf — well I do remember she had this couch in her waiting room. It was a 2nd floor porch with big windows and this couch. It was the kind of couch that once you sat in it, it took a few minutes until you finally settled (sunk) into position and then you never wanted to get up again. It was my favorite couch in all the world. If I had 3 wishes from a genie, having that couch would be one of them. All right, maybe not — I take that back (don’t want to waste a wish) Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah Mrs. Stumpf (her name has a little ring to it now, don’t it?) Well I had four years worth of lessons with the Stumpf, and every year she would say to my mom, “Are you sure Skip wants to come back to lessons?” She did not want me, but I do remember her saying, “Skipper,” that’s what she called me- “Skipper, if you ever practice you will be great!”
Well I never practiced until I got to high school and realized my calling. It was not classical music. It was the funk. And now I play the funk every day, and my band The Stingers are well known for their funky dance parties and there isn’t a night we don’t play this song.
Thank you, Mrs. STUMPF.