Harry Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band performs during the first of two shows at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind., in 2012.
Associated Press Enlarge
It’s been more than 40 years since KC and the Sunshine Band gifted the world with such disco staples as “Shake Your Booty” and “Get Down Tonight” and had people around the world dancing The Hustle and Electric Slide.
Yet, if one asks front man Harry Wayne Casey how disco influenced what people hear on mainstream radio today, he insists the genre never really went away.
“They say disco sucks or disco died, well, it never did,” Casey, 67, said. “I don’t think you can be more disco than Madonna, to be honest with you, yet she doesn’t get a disco title or any of the acts from the ‘80s because they changed the name and it became something else. I doubt if disco died, the term did, but terms always die. I don’t know why we keep labeling everything.”
What: KC and the Sunshine Band, Oliver Hazard
When: 6:15 p.m. Friday
Where: Promenade Park, 400 Water St., Toledo
Admission: $10; tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com, Huntington Center box office, or at the gate
KC and the Sunshine Band will perform Friday at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo. The concert is part of ProMedica’s Summer Concert Series and Toledo Jeep Fest.
Most known for its highly successful disco music during the ’70s, selling more than 100 million records and earning three Grammy awards, Casey said he’s always been influenced by Joe Cocker, Chicago, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, even going as far as Led Zeppelin.
“If it was funky, I loved it. I guess you could call me a little funk monster,” he said with a laugh.
In 2015, the band released Feeling You! The ‘60s, its first album in more than 10 years. Casey decided to pay tribute to the decade that inspired him to become the musician he became during the ’70s. On the album, you’ll find covers of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind,” Dionne Warwick’s “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” and Jackie DeShannon’s “Put A Little Love In Your Heart.”
Casey said Feeling You! The ‘60s is a collection of musical thoughts.
“It's a diary of my life, how I’ve felt personally, how I live my life, how I’ve thought of life, how I look at life in certain ways on a more emotional side than a party side,” he said. “Each one of the songs has a subliminal message and has a specific meaning to me.”
Still, Casey continues to keep his band’s disco legacy alive.
“I don’t think that far ahead; I really live for the moment,” he said. “I don’t ever remember going, ‘Wow, are these going to be good 40 years from now?’ That wasn’t part of the science or the idea of it all or how long are they going to last type of thing.”
“I’m thrilled and excited that they have stood the test of time and have stood the test of all the critics and everyone who demeaned them and put us down,” he said. “Still, to this day, I don’t think we get a lot of credit we probably deserve. It is what it is; that’s life.”
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