KC & The Sunshine Band Clocks Up 40 Years by PAUL CASHMERE Article and Audio Interview
After 40 years and dozens of hit singles Harry Wayne Casey decided to mark the occasion by heading back to the studio for a mammoth session of new music that will be released as a triple album midyear.
“i’m going on my 41st right now,” Harry tells Noise11.com. “I am celebrating by writing some new music so there is some new music coming out in June. It is a three-record set, all new stuff and 17 songs from the 60s.
KC & The Sunshine Band were never much for covers although they did once have a hit with the Motown classic ‘Its The Same Old Song’. “I did “I Bet You Didn’t Know That’, I did ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ and we’ve done a newer version of that on this album. I did ‘Baby I’m Yours’ and of course I did ‘Yes I’m Ready’ with Teri de Serio. Its something we didn’t do a lot of”.
The new record will feature songs from the 60s with lyrics Harry can personally identify with. “’Stand By Me’, ‘Bring It On Home’, songs by The Kinks, a song by The Allman Brothers called ‘Dreams’, a Bee Gees songs called ‘Words’, I just picked some great songs from the 60s that pertain to what I am going through in my life right now and what I have gone through in my 63 years on this Earth,” he said.
KC & The Sunshine Band formed in Florida. Florida is also the home state of ex-pat Aussies The Bee Gees. “They are very good friends of mine<“ Harry says. “I always loved that song. It was really fun doing it. It was really fun making this album and one reason I did it was I do covers in my show, I’d rather cover songs and make everything in my show familiar to the audience instead of doing obscure tracks that a chosen few in the audience might recognise. I’ve covered ‘True Colours’, ‘You Are So Beautiful’, ‘Love The One You’re With’ and I have fun doing them. It was the thing that ignited the fire under me to do this”.
KC & The Sunshine Bands hit song ‘’Boogie Shoes’ was included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Harry says that soundtrack created a musical name change. “My roots are in R&B. It became disco in 1978, five years after I started the band,” he says. “The original music that I was doing, even though I am the Godfather of Dance, was really R&B/Pop music. Then in 1978 they put out this movie called Saturday Night Fever and the next thing you know they renamed the music “disco”.”
KC & The Sunshine Band will perform at Bluesfest, Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend