Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This Day In Music History: KC and the Sunshine Band and That's the Way (I Like It)

On November 22, 1975 the song that topped the Billboard charts was That’s the Way (I Like It) by KC and the Sunshine Band. KC, whose real name is Harry Wayne Casey, said that the version that was released to the public was much tamer then the original version. KC said that the song was a little too risqué for 1975. He said “…And I thought boy wait till my Mother hears this one!” He had to clean it up considerably. Still KC’s Mom may not have been as shocked as he thought. She was a long time music fan. She was into rhythm and blues and loved Jerry Butler, Nat ‘King’ Cole and the Flamingos. KC grew up listening to them and later fell in love with the Motown sound of Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, James Brown etc.

KC’s musical roots served him well when he had to play in concert. He was not use to playing keyboards while singing at the same time. However, he learned quickly and was praised by the New York Times. “In person they are one of the most exciting groups performing today. On stage KC becomes truly possessed by his rhythms…This is no insecure Caucasian kid mimicking black inflections, exhorting a crowd to put your hands together.” Like Elvis before him KC has the presence and musical ability to bridge cultural gaps with his audience.

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