The Hub’s EXCLUSIVE Q & A With KC & The Sunshine Band’s Lead Singer, Harry Wayne Casey
by Michael P. Coleman
KC & The Sunshine Band may not immediately come to mind when you think of 70s soul…but they should. With Harry Wayne Casey delivering infectious lead vocals, the interracial band cranked out a series of indelible #1 hits on both the R & B and pop charts. In addition to tracks like “I’m Your Boogie Man”, “(That’s The Way) I Like It”, and “Boogie Shoes” (which was featured on the multi-platinum, genre-defining soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever), Casey partnered with Teri DeSario on the gorgeous “Yes, I’m Ready” and co-wrote George McCrae’s classic “Rock Your Baby”, which became one of disco’s first international smashes.
KC & The Sunshine Band earned three Grammy awards during their heyday, and along with Donna Summer (who was a friend of Casey’s) they were among disco’s foremost ambassadors. In a nutshell, that white boy played — and sang — some funky music.
By the mid-80s, “disco”’s demise forced a burned out Casey into early retirement, and he spent a decade or so overcoming personal demons, including addiction. He reemerged in 1995 and has been touring ever since. He and a retooled Sunshine Band have just released a new album, Feeling You! The 60s, an infectious collection of covers from that decade.
Click here for my conversation with brother KC. You may be as surprised as I was to hear about why he never liked the term “disco”, how Michael Jackson inadvertently cost him a few hit records, the similarities and differences between Casey the man and “KC” the lead singer, and his struggles to succeed as a white guy singing music that had been labeled as “black”.
KC & The Sunshine Band’s new album, Feeling You! The 60s, along with several excellent hits collections, are available at iTunes and Amazon. The group’s The Painter and All In A Night’s Work are available for preorder at funkytowngrooves.com.
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Michael P. Coleman is a Sacramento, California-based freelance writer, and he is also your boogie man! Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com, via email at email@example.com, or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP.
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