Sound Advice: KC and The Sunshine Band Bringing Quintessential Disco Hits to Cincinnati

Get on your "boogie shoes" and head to Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati.

Sep 6, 2023 at 4:58 pm
click to enlarge Harry Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band - Photo: BradP, Wikimedia Commons
Photo: BradP, Wikimedia Commons
Harry Wayne Casey of KC and the Sunshine Band

This story is featured in CityBeat's Sept. 6 print edition.

Quintessential disco band KC and The Sunshine Band “keep it coming” and turn the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati lawn into a full blown ‘70s dance club on Sept. 15.

With some of the biggest songs of the 1970s, mixing dance music, funk, potent pop and atmosphere to spare, KC and The Sunshine Band’s string of hits encapsulates a time and place evoking the colorful glow of dance halls and figures in polyester, plaid and platforms shimmying back and forth.

The group was formed in 1973 by Harry Wayne Casey near Miami, Florida, where he was working at the band’s future label, TK Records. Casey eventually formed a working relationship with TK Records producer Richard Finch that would give way to the band’s flow of success. 

The duo wrote and produced the enormously successful floating groove magic of “Rock Your Baby” in 1975 with vocalist George McCrae, who happened to be in the studio during the session, and handled vocals. The song became an international success and features an early example of a drum machine on record. ABBA named it as an inspiration for their smash hit “Dancing Queen” and it served as inspiration for John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” according to the former Beatles member.

KC and The Sunshine band’s debut album, Do It Good, was released in 1974 and had some success, but the band’s 1975 self-titled sophomore record was their breakthrough. It features three of the most recognizable songs of an era, the upbeat funk drive of “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “Get Down Tonight” and legendary Saturday Night Fever soundtrack classic “Boogie Shoe.” 

They followed their breakthrough that same year with a stellar all-instrumental dance record titled The Sound of Sunshine which featured an instrumental version of “Rock Your Baby” before another major success in 1976 titled Part 3. The record contains the instantly recognizable hits “(Shake Shake Shake) Shake Your Booty” and soaring funk jam “I’m Your Boogie Man,” both further cementing KC and the Sunshine Band as a musical force.

They scored one last chart-topping hit in 1979 with the ballad “Please Don’t Go” before the Finch and Casey partnership ended. The band charted without Finch in 1982 with “Give It Up.” Their star has been kept alive on radio, in dance halls, on endless spots in TV and movies and in memory ever since.

They’ll be celebrating 50 years of era-defining music this month in Cincinnati. Bring you “boogie shoes” and experience the dance-crazed disco era for yourself.

KC and The Sunshine Band plays the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15. Info: hardrockcasinocincinnati.com


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