Harry Wayne Casey has been “making people happy” through his music for more than 40 years.
And though the name Harry Wayne Casey may not seem synonymous with the disco and funk of the 1970s, hopefully the name KC and The Sunshine Band will ring a bell.
From 1975 to 1983, KC and his band pretty much ruled the pop-music charts with hit after hit including “Get Down Tonight,” “Boogie Shoes” and “Please Don’t Go.”
KC returns to the Gulf Coast at 8 p.m. Saturday for a high-energy show at the Hard Rock Live in Biloxi. Tickets start at $39.99 and are available at Ticketmaster.
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And there’s no sign of KC slowing down. Although he “retired” a few years ago, he continues to play several live dates a year. In August, he released a new song, “We Belong Together,” which is a modern update of the band’s classic “Miami Sound.”
In an interview with the Sun Herald, KC talks about his early influences in the church and taking his show out on the road.
Q: What was the song you heard or thing you saw that made you want to pursue music?
A: I grew up in the Pentecostal church and my family was all very musically inclined, so my family was always at the piano singing. It’s from those early impressions that I decided I wanted to do music. I remember my first day of grade school, and I put down entertainer as my occupation.
Q: So you went from the Pentecostal church to fronting one of the biggest funk bands in the world?
A: Sort of, but not that quickly. In the beginning, there was really no band — it was just me and some studio musicians. Then, I asked the studio musicians to go out as KC and The Sunshine Band. That’s pretty much what happened — I asked the musicians I recorded with if they wanted to go out on tour. But the horn players that went out on the road didn’t play on the records.
Q: And you’re still going. “We Belong Together” seemed to do well for you.
A: “We Belong Together” came about because a good friend of mine named his son after me and his son grew up to be a DJ and he brought me some tracks over and “We Belong Together” was one of them. We wrote lyrics and then I had it remixed.
Q: Everyone has their favorite KC and The Sunshine Band song. Mine is “Boogie Shoes,” because I heard it when I was a kid, and it was on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack and then 20 years later it was on the “Boogie Nights” soundtrack. It’s such an iconic song.
A: I just did a new funky version of it. It’s really good. And Trick Daddy sampled it in “Take It To Da House.” It was an interesting record because it was the B-side of “Shake Your Booty” and then we released it by itself and then it was in “Saturday Night Fever.” It’s had a really interesting life. It’s a great little song. And I’m bringing it back one more time.
If you go
KC and The Sunshine Band
Hard Rock Live at 777 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
Tickets start at $39.99 and are avaialble at Ticketmaster.com.