One of the most popular American pop groups of its time, KC and the Sunshine Band earned the second of their five #1 pop hits on this day in 1975 when “That’s The Way (I Like It)” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
With their breakthrough single, “Get Down Tonight” (1975), having implored listeners to “Do a little dance” and “Make a little love…,” KC and the Sunshine Band’s follow-up mined very much the same territory with its driving, danceable beat and its frank declaration, “That’s the way/Uh-huh, Uh-huh/I like i/Uh-Huh.” But as risqué as the lyrics written by Harry Wayne Casey and his songwriting partner (and Sunshine Band co-founder), Richard Finch, tended to be, they were always delivered in a way that was more exuberant than suggestive. AM radio—white pop stations and black R&B stations alike—loved the racially integrated KC and the Sunshine Band, and so did many critics. As Steven Ditlea wrote in a rave New York Times review of one of the group’s live appearances, “KC has the stage presence and the musical ability to bridge the cultural chasm separating white performers and black listeners as well as between black music and white audiences.”
Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch first began working together musically as low-level employees at a small, Hialeah-based record label called T.K. Their big break came in 1974, when a struggling T.K. artist named George McCrae overheard an instrumental track Casey and Finch had recorded on their own and volunteered his services as a singer. In just two takes, McCrae recorded the vocal track on a record called “Rock Your Baby,” which was released in the spring of 1974 and went on to sell upwards of 3 million copies on its way to becoming a #1 pop hit. Following the success of “Rock Your Baby,” Casey and Finch released an album called Do It Good that failed to find a large audience, but their second studio album, KC and the Sunshine Band (1975), was a multi-platinum smash that included both of the group’s first two #1 pop hits as well as a third major hit in “Boogie Shoes.”