Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Thirty six years ago, a band was formed in Florida that would help change the face of music in the late 1970's. Harry Casey and Richard Finch called their group "KC and the Sunshine Band" and together they racked up a string of disco hits that still have people shaking their booties! Hits like Get Down Tonight, That's the Way (I Like It) and Shake Your Booty established KC as a mover and shaker in the music business. Along with the Beatles, KC is the only artist to have four number one singles in the span of a year: Boogie Shoes, Get Down Tonight, That's the Way I Like It, and Rock Your Baby. Today, KC and the Sunshine Band are still going strong. I spoke with KC recently about his amazing career...
MICK: What were you doing before the Sunshine Band formed?
KC: I was working in a record store and then I started working for the wholesale record distributor. I played in a local band here and there down in Florida where I lived.
MICK: When things really took off for you in 1975, what was it like to become such a huge success?
KC: It was great! It was something I had dreamed about and I was positive it was going to happen. It was like "wow", I had all these dreams and they actually happened! It was so exciting; here was something I was so passionate about and it actually became a reality.
MICK: What was the reason for you and your songwriting partner, Richard Finch, to part ways in 1981?
KC: Just to do different things and go our seperate ways. It's really personal. Partners seperate and they go their seperate ways. He wanted to do his thing, I wanted to do my thing.
MICK: In 1985, you retired until the Sunshine Band was revived in 1991. What did you do during those retirement years?
KC: I kind of went crazy! I partied and did a lot of drugs and got crazy. I don't know if it's like after so many years of being goody two shoes or just not experiencing life. Everything was devoted to making records and music 24/7 so I did things in my thirties that most people do in their teens.
MICK: You're still going strong 36 years after it all started. Are there any other original members left in the band?
KC: Yes, Fermin Goytisolo played on the original records and worked with the touring band. There's only two of us. The original drummer and guitar player have sinse passed away.
MICK: Earlier this year, you performed on "American Idol" [singing "Get Down Tonight]. What was that experience like with the show's huge mass appeal?
KC: I was not as comfortible as I thought I would be because I was a little outside my element without my band there. It was very exciting, a little stressful. It was a great opportunity and overall, I really enjoyed the experience.
MICK: How do you feel about the horrible oversight of not being mentioned in "People's Book of the 70's"?
KC: It really pissed me off. It's definitely crazy for some reason. We kind of created the whole thing as we were one of the largest acts of the 70's and how we got left out, I have no idea.
MICK: What are your future projects?
KC: Actually, I discovered this new country artist down in Fort Lauderdale named David Ray. I've been working with him, getting some demos done and I'm sending them out. I'd like to see if I can make that happen. Still enjoy touring, entertaining and seeing my fans!
MICK: Do you have any hobbies?
KC: I enjoy traveling! I don't know if that's considered a hobby but it's something I do to do. You'd think I'd be tired of traveling with all the travel I do. I love getting out and seeing the places that I fly to.
MICK: Can you tell me something about yourself that might amaze people to know about you?
KC: I'm realy just a normal guy like everfybody else. I do basicly normal things and live pretty much as normal as I can. I have a lot of interests and don't know of I have enough of one! I've been thing about getting back into painting. It was something I did as a kid. When I get home. I just chill out, don't do too much. I enjoy reading. Like I said before, I really like traveling but that's something that maybe most people also like.
MICK: Do you have any regrets?
KC: I think we all have regrets. I did some things like making records that I deliberately intended to be not so great because I didn't want the record company to make any more money. I don't think that was a smart thing to do. There was no good reason to do that and I did so I'm sorry about that.
MICK: What advise would you give to an up and coming performer?
KC: Don't give up and always go after your dreams. Even if people say you should give it up, always keep going. The main thing is if you really like something, put yourself totally into it. If you love music, get a job that has something to do with music; if you love sports, get a job that has something to do with sports. Same thing for writing. Whatever you enjoy in life, that's where you should get your job. To me, some people settle for second best and they are miserable the rest of their lives. Go for your dream!!
You can catch KC and the Sunshine Band on Monday, August 24th at BB Kings Blues Club in NYC at 8:00PM.
For more information on the show, please go to: http://www.bbkingblues.com/
For more information on KC and the Sunshine Band: