Put on your boogie shoes and get ready to shake your booty. KC & the Sunshine Band are bringing their disco sounds to the Stanislaus County Fair on Saturday.
Harry Wayne "KC" Casey, 59, is more than a little proud that his 1970s songs are still as popular as ever. His hits, like "Get Down Tonight" and "That's The Way (I Like It)" are played constantly at weddings, night clubs, festivals, sporting events and any place that people want to have a good time.
"Lately, it's coming back even more strong," he said. "It never went away. It's just gotten stronger and bigger."
The band has sold more than 100 million records, earned nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award.
As a kid, Casey's favorite music tended to be R&B and Motown by artists like Aretha Franklin and James Brown. He wrote his first song with his cousin at age 13 and knew immediately that music was what he wanted to do.
"I never thought of doing anything else but that," he said.
He founded KC & the Sunshine Band in 1973, taking the name from his last name and the tagline for his home stage of Florida (the "Sunshine State").
He said he was aware that he was developing a new type of music.
"I knew I was trying to create a happier sound, a more high energy type of music," he said. "After the second hit ("That's the Way (I Like It)") I knew we were on to something."
He finds it interesting that he shares the same birthday (Jan. 31) with two other pop stars — Phil Collins and Justin Timberlake.
At one show, Casey joked to the young people in the audience that his band was their mother's N Sync.
"I said, 'Get a good look at me because this is what Justin Timberlake's going to be like in 30 years,' " he said.
He is working on putting together a show for Las Vegas and has been approached by people who want him to put together a Broadway production about his life and music a la "Jersey Boys." He's not sure he wants to go there.
He is already selling a 120-page pictorial book about his life "That's The Way I Like It" on his Web site. He said the biggest thing that might surprise people about him is that he's not always the life of the party.
While he did at one point delve into the party lifestyle with alcohol and drugs, he is sober these days.
But he still enjoys getting down on stage. He's bringing 15 people with him to the fair, including backup singers and dancers. He wants to put on a show that can appeal to everyone because he knows all ages will be in the audience.
"It's always been babies to grandmas," he said. "It's always been a varried demographic."