The Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City will supply the backdrop as KC and the Sunshine Band break out the polyester and platform shoes on Saturday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m.
With the music of the ‘70s making a big comeback, KC’s response to the latest wave of success is one of his biggest hits: That’s the Way, Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh (I Like It)!
Some of KC’s other hits of that era that include I’m Your Boogie Man and Get Down Tonight have made KC and the Sunshine Band one of the only artists to have four No. 1 singles in a year beside the Beatles and the Jackson Five. The band has sold over 100 million records, earned nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award.
“The music is real, not electronic. There are real people putting their heart and soul into every one of their records, every note of their records,” said KC, the group’s founder, otherwise known as Harry Wayne Casey. “Aside from that, our music was music designed to make people feel good and I think people are always looking for that. So I think I can attribute a lot of that to our continued popularity.”
Founded in 1973 in Miami, KC and his band were in their heyday until disco died in the early ‘80s. KC nearly did, too. Partially paralyzed in 1982 when the car he was driving was hit head-on by another vehicle, he spent nine months in traction and developed an addiction to painkillers. He quit the music business altogether in 1986 and didn’t start his comeback until five years later, when encouragement from friends got him back on the road again.
“All my friends kept urging me to go back to my music,” KC said. “People on television, people like Arsenio Hall, were doing the same thing, and I began to realize I was missing it.”
But KC and the Sunshine Band never really left. The old songs have been featured in a number of commercials, from General Motors to Burger King, Budweiser, Pillsbury and more. KC estimates that the old hits have been featured in more than 50 movies, from Saturday Night Fever in the ‘70s to Forrest Gump in the ‘90s.
As to his personal favorites, he said he likes them all. And as far as being used in movies and commercials, KC said he loves all the exposure, too.
“I know there are some artists who are very close to their ‘art’ and look down on their work being used in such a way. But I like my music exposed to the public. And I say the more public, the better.”
KC received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and today marks more than 40 years in the business.
“I think when you receive a star, it wipes away all the things the critics put me down for in the past. It sort of legitimizes what I do.”
When he’s not working, KC, 63, said he enjoys traveling. He said he’s had dreams, and most of those dreams have come true.
“I’ve done all the things I set out to do. Sometimes, I think about another record, another TV show or movie I might like to do. But other than that, what I really would like to see is a world at peace. That would be amazing.” ••
Tickets range from $35 to $75. Call 1-800-745-3000.