KC and the Sunshine Band
Synopsis of Pop Music
"That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh,
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh."
K.C. and the Sunshine Band were one of the most successful disco bands of all time, racking up several danceable hits throughout the mid-to-late 70’s. They achieved this by seamlessly mixing the rhythmic excitement of soul music with the memorable hooks and sweet melodies of pop music. As a result, their work represents some of the most durable and fondly-remembered music from the disco era.
K.C. was actually Harry Wayne Casey, a young music enthusiast from Miami who got his start doing odd jobs at a local recording studio. He soon teamed up with studio technician Rick Finch and began writing hits like “Rock Your Baby,” a #1 pop and r&b smash for George McCrae. Casey and Finch were inspired to put together a band of their own when they heard ‘junkanoo’ music, a beat-oriented style of music with heavy percussion, at a friend’s wedding.
The newly-formed K.C. and the Sunshine band scored their first hit in 1975 with “Get Down Tonight,” a stomping groove peppered with percussive horns and a keyboard-like flourish that was actually a sped-up tape of a guitar. This infectious, good time dance tune went to #1. The group followed this hit with another #1 smash, “That’s The Way I Like It.” It worked a catchy "uh-huh, uh-huh" chant into the group’s mixture of horns and percussive grooves.
The Sunshine Band went out on the road and proved they could create their party-hearty sound on the stage. In the process, they got excellent notices for their innovative mixture of pop, soul, gospel and Caribbean sounds. They balanced almost-continuous touring with prolific recording and soon had another major chart success with “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty.” This horn-punctuated invitation to dancing became the band’s third #1 hit in 1976. It also holds the record as the number #1 with the biggest number of repeated words in its title.
1977 was the year of disco, thanks to Saturday Night Fever. Appropriately, K.C. and the Sunshine Band racked up serious hit singles during this time. The first was “I’m Your Boogie Man,” perhaps the most driving of all their songs. It blended staccato horns, a churning rhythm section and boogie-woogie piano into the group’s fourth #1 hit. "Keep It Comin Love," a powerful tune driven by a rhythmic guitar part and the chant ‘Don’t stop it now/don’t stop it, no,’ went to #2. An older song by the band, “Boogie Shoes,” was prominently featured on the mega-hit Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
K.C. and the Sunshine Band continued to rack up hit singles and albums through the end of the 70’s. At the turn of the 80’s, they changed gears and released a gentle, string-driven ballad called “Please Don’t Go.” This change of pace became a #1 hit. K.C. also scored a solo hit with “Yes, I’m Ready,” a duet with Teri DeSario that went to #2 on the charts. The group disbanded in 1981 and K.C. continued on as a solo artist. His progress was slowed down when he was in a car accident in 1982, but he bounced back and scored a Top-20 hit in 1984 with the Sunshine Band-ish dance song, “Give It Up.”
When pop listeners began to rediscover disco in the early 90’s, the music of K.C. and the Sunshine Band returned to prominence. K.C. reformed the Sunshine Band and the reunited group soon found itself in demand all over the world as a touring attraction. They continue to record and tour, keeping their high-energy blend of danceable rhythms and entrancing pop hooks to appreciative audiences everywhere.
Artist Release History1974 - Do It Good
1975 - The Sound of Sunshine
1976 - Part 3
1977 - I Like to Do It
1978 - Who Do Ya Love
1979 - Do You Wanna Party
1981 - Space Cadet
1981 - The Painter
1990 - The Best of KC & the Sunshine Band
1995 - Get Down Live!
1999 - New Best One
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsThe Best of K.C. and the Sunshine Band (Rhino)
Band MembersHarry Wayne 'K.C.' Casey vocals, keyboards
Richard Finch bass
Jerome Smith guitar
Robert Johnson drums
Fermin Goytisolo congas, percussion