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KC talks about new album and the new fan base at Pandora

Harry Wayne "KC" Casey photo - A. Streiber

Harry Wayne “KC” Casey photo – A. Streiber

The iconic KC and The Sunshine Band rolled out their newest release, Feeling You!, a collection of TOP 40 Hits from the 60’s that takes on the decade that shaped America during the Vietnam War, Civil Rights and the landing on the moon.

AM Radio’s Top 40 format featured everything from Swamp Pop to Motown to the British invasion and this was during the formative years of Harry Wayne “KC” Casey. KC would go on to forge a change in the musical landscape.

Feeling You! features songs by sixties legends like Ben E. King, The Righteous Brothers, Jackie DeShannon, Aaron Neville and others. KC says this new album stems from an inspiration to pay tribute to those songs who helped shape him into the revolutionary artist he is today.

BMI recently honored KC and The Sunshine band with a coveted Million Airplay Award, as well as an outstanding 2014 Urban Pop Award, recognizing their revolutionary impact on modern pop music since the 70s. The presentation took placed just before the March release date of their latest album.

KC & The Sunshine Band were in preparations for an upcoming tour when KC sat down with The Nashville Bridge to talk about the new album and how to get music out into the public conscience both digitally as well as a future vinyl release.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: On the new album, how was it to record the songs that were part of your formative times?

KC: I feel right now the way I felt about them then over the last 60 some odd years, some of them were done because they were fun songs and they were good positive energy and I thought it would be great to have them on the album, not just on the album but, to do live. Other songs have a more personal connection to me. There are a couple on there, that I did, that have a slight political undertone on them.

TNB: Okay, you did Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” and that was a protest song back in the Sixties.

KC: Correct, it is so appropriate for what is going on right now.

TNB: You got some good reviews on “Stand By Me.” What was your favorite track to work on?

KC: They were all fun to work on. I don’t know if I have a favorite. I do “Stand By Me” and “Bring It On Home” is definitely the Sam Cooke song. It was my favorite song to do. I love really doing “You Really Got A Hold On Me” also.

TNB: What do you think is the difference between now and then to get a hit? Is it just money?

KC: I think there is a lot more money behind records today. First of all [back then] you had to be able to sing on key. It had to be a great song. I don’t know if it is easier now. It was easier to know if you had a great song back then. Now, you have so many more opportunities to get your music out. You don’t have to depend on one person deciding your future.

TNB: Back then you had been working as a session guy and eventually got the opportunity to take a chance on your own ideas.

KC & The Sunshine Band photo - Jeremy Westby

KC & The Sunshine Band photo – Jeremy Westby

KC: Yes. I didn’t really have anybody telling me yay or nay. You are absolutely right. I set out to change things. I set out to put out a different kind of music. I just wanted to put out an album with high energy and something that people could just enjoy at a party or feel good about playing the entire side A to side B and that is kind of how it all really started. You know, the only master plan that I had was to create this high energy up tempo music, you know, the groove.

TNB: I know you are getting ready to tour. How big of a band do you tour with? The Sunshine Band used to be 11 members.

KC: There are 15 of us on the stage at all times. There are 20 of us that travel together.

TNB: That’s fantastic and you said you are doing “Stand By Me” in the new set?

KC: I do “Stand By Me” and “Bring It On Home To Me” live now. We just went into rehearsals and will add a few more songs.

TNB: I’d love to hear you do “Tell It Like It Is.”

KC: Oh yeah, it sounds great live.

TNB: Are you releasing this worldwide or just in the U.S.?

KC: It’s worldwide.

TNB: So by the time you get to like China I guess they have it available through like Amazon or would that be digital distribution at that point?

KC: It’s mostly digital. We will have hard copies at the show. A record [vinyl] version will be coming out.

TNB: I was going to ask you about the vinyl because it would be fun to even put out a seven inch.

KC: Sure. I know that “You Keep Me Hanging On” on this album is #17 on the Dance Charts. It came in at #24 and then it went to number 17 so we are getting some dance play off of this album. I am speaking to management and stuff today. We need to get a single off of this and get it on the radio stations.

TNB: It would be cool to see a limited release on Record Store Day.

KC: Yeah. I wish that was happening. That would be awesome.

TNB: Nowadays, getting music out and getting paid for it presents a lot of opportunities.

KC: I think there are some opportunities for soundtracks, motion pictures. There is still a chance that somebody might want to use the songs that I have done in a commercial. Of course, I didn’t write the songs on this project but there is still a lot of opportunity with even the music of this album for sync licenses and stuff. It will be interesting to see where it all goes.

TNB: Everything goes in cycles and performers like Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones highlight music right before you originally hit.

KC: I know. I feel like I’m on the verge of that cycle. I was just at Pandora music and learned that 71% of our listeners in the last 30 days were in the 18-24 age demographic and 11% were between ages 8-18. My percentage was way above the average Pandora percentage which was 63%.

TNB: I think it’s cool that they are searching and finding KC & The Sunshine Band.

KC: Yeah.

kc and the sunshine band feel youKC and The Sunshine Band On Tour:

03.20 Hard Rock Hotel and Casino / Hollywood, FL

03.21 Seminole Casino Immokalee / Immokalee, FL

03.26 Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino / Lemoore, CA

04.11 Busch Gardens / Tampa, FL

04.18 Seven Feathers Casino – Grand Ballroom / Canyonville, OR

04.19 Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom / Snoqualmie, WA

07.04 A Capitol Fourth Independence Day / Washington, DC

07.11 Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre / Peachtree City, GA

07.17 Three Rivers Festival / Ft. Wayne, IN

07.25 Burton Chace Park / Marina Del Rey, CA

08.08 Tropicana / Atlantic City, NJ

08.20 Indiana State Fairgrounds / Indianapolis, IN

08.22 Delta Downs – Delta Center / Vinton, LA

08.28 Monticello Grand Casino / Santiago, Chile

08.29 Monticello Grand Casino / Santiago, Chile

10.03 University of Buffalo Stadium / Buffalo, NY

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmailddotcom

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Barry Manilow Honors Hialeah, Florida’s KC and The Sunshine Band

KCSB_logo

 

BARRY MANILOW HONORS KC and THE SUNSHINE BAND
WITH STAR ON PALM SPRINGS WALK OF STARS

 KC and the Sunshine Band was immortalized, today, Saturday, July 6, 2013, into the Palm Springs Walk of Stars as fellow entertainer and star recipient Barry Manilow presented  the group with the 357th star.

“I am truly thrilled and overjoyed that Barry would come be part of this ceremony,” says Harry Wayne Casey. “Our careers have crisscrossed for years and our friendship has always remained and I couldn’t think of anyone better to present us with this award than Barry.”
In addition, in celebration of the star dedication, Ruby’s Diner, located at 155 S. Pal Canyon Dr., will be offering two limited-time special items from their delicious menu starting today, Friday July 5 – Sunday July 7; the “Boogie Burger” and the “Shake, Shake, Shake” Shake. While See’s Candies will be creating a special commemorative wrapper for their popular Butterscotch Chews to be renamed for the day “Boogie Chews” and will highlight KC’s other favorite See’s item Sugar Free Peanut Brittle.

WHO/WHAT: KC and the Sunshine Band, award-winning entertainment legends, were honored by The Palm Springs Walk of Stars during the 357th star dedication ceremony. Award-winning musical legend Barry Manilow presented the star.

WHERE: 144 S. Palm Canyon Drive – directly across from Ruby’s Diner and in front of See’s Candies.

WHEN: Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 3:00 pm

The star ceremony was open to the public and media. KC and the Sunshine Band will be performing later that evening at 8 p.m. in the Special Events Center at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino located at 84-245 Indio Springs Pkwy. in Indio. Call (800) 827-2946 for tickets.
For more information on the Walk of Stars ceremony please visit:
http://www.palmspringswalkofstars.com/

Harry Casey, photo - A. Streiber

Harry Casey, photo – A. Streiber

Things have changed drastically since 1973, but one thing hasn’t changed – the infectious, feel good happy music of KC and the Sunshine Band. Harry Wayne Casey – “KC,” for short – developed a unique fusion of R&B and funk, with a hint of a Latin percussion groove. “I remember that I always wanted to do something that would make people forget about their problems and be happy,” KC recalls. “I always loved music and I was fortunate enough to grow up in a multi-ethnic area that exposed me to a lot of different cultures and music…from Pop to Reggae to Latin. I experimented at trying to put all three types of music together and the Sunshine Sound was born.” Yielding an impressive string of #1 hits “GET DOWN TONIGHT”, “THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT)”, “BOOGIE SHOES” and “ROCK YOUR BABY”, KC and the Sunshine Band became the first act to score four #1 pop singles in one 12-month period since The Beatles in 1964.

With sales of over 100 million records, nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards, the NARAS Governor’s Award (highest honor given by a chapter of the academy), and an American Music Award, KC and the Sunshine Band was one of the most progressive bands of the ‘70s and is credited with changing the sound of modern pop music. Their music has been featured in over 200 motion picture soundtracks, video games, sporting events and TV shows including Desperate Housewives, American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. Music acts like White Zombie, Baha Men and Beyoncé Knowles have covered his music. Their infectious grooves and bass lines have been sampled by R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg and Trick Daddy, to name a few.

The Palm Springs Walk of Stars, founded in 1992, has honored 356 individuals with a Golden Palm Star placed on the sidewalks of Palm Springs. Show business Honorees must have made an impact worldwide in the area of show business. All other star honorees must have contributed to the charm, worldwide prominence and name recognition of Greater Palm Springs. “We are very proud to honor KC and the Sunshine Band with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars”, said Bob Alexander, President of the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.

Upcoming KC &The Sunshine Band Tour Dates:
07/05 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Biloxi, MS

07/06 Fantasy Springs – Indio, CA
07/13 Tropicana Field – St Petersburg, FL (after Tampa Bay Rays game)
07/14 Montbleu – Lake Tahoe, NV
07/19 Showboat Amphitheater – Chesaning, MI
07/20 Seminole Immokalee Casino – Immokalee, FL
07/27 New Haven Green – New Haven, CT
08/03 Desert Diamond Casino – Sahuarita, AZ
08/08 Muzikfest – Bethlehem, PA
08/09 Watertown Fairgrounds – Watertown, NY
08/10 Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom – Hampton Bch, NH
08/17 Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, VA
08/23 Chautauqua Institute Amphitheater – Chautauqua, NY
08/24 Tropicana – Atlantic City, NJ
08/30 Fraze Pavilion – Kettering, OH
08/31 Isle Casino Hotel – Bettendorf, IA
09/14 M Resort Spa – Henderson, NV
09/15 The Mountain Winery – Saratoga, CA
09/27 Odawa Casino Resort – Petoskey, MI
09/28 Utah State Fairgrounds – Salt Lake City, UT
10/04 ExtracoColliseum – Waco, TX
11/23 Pfeiffer Hall – Naperville, IL
12/05 Enjoy Hotel & Casino – Coquimbo, CHILE
12/07 Enjoy Hotel & Casino – Coquimbo, CHILE
12/07 Enjoy Hotel & Casino – Coquimbo, CHILE
About KC & the Sunshine Band:
Formed in 1973, KC and the Sunshine Band aims to serve a single purpose: to create instant happiness through music. For 40 years the group has done just that, topping the charts with seven No. 1 singles and three triple platinum albums, winning three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, an American Music Award, and becoming the first act since The Beatles to score four No. 1 pop singles in one 12-month period in 1976. In 2001, KC was honored with the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences Governor’s Award, the highest honor given by a chapter of the Academy. KC &The Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes” was recently selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. Harry Wayne “KC” Casey will receive a star on The Palm Springs Walk of Stars July 6th and has had numerous media stops this year, including Paula Deen’s “Paula’s Best Dishes,” “Designing Spaces” and more. The band’s infectious sound gives life to countless ad campaigns and hundreds of movie soundtracks. KC and the Sunshine Band has defined disco and forever influenced music with its timeless sound and mission of getting people out of their seats to celebrate, which is still being fulfilled today. The iconic KC and the Sunshine Band has joined forces with UK dance music super duo Bimbo Jones to release the band’s first single in over a decade, “I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind” (Sunshine Records). The infectious dance mix is available on iTunes, Amazon and all other digital music services.To learn more about KC and the Sunshine Band and to find more details about its upcoming tour dates, visit www.heykcsb.com.