A close acquaintance of Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, co-founder and now leader of KC & the Sunshine Band, died about eight years ago of cystic fibrosis.
“She was a dear friend of ours — you’d have thought she was my sister, my mother loved her so much,” Casey said in a phone interview Wednesday.
So when Casey and his band return to the Fraze Pavilion Friday night to be part of the 16th annual Celebrity Concert for Charity, it will be a bit more personal than other concerts. To date, the benefit series has raised nearly $800,000 for cystic fibrosis research and to support local families through a fund with Children’s Medical Center.
“Anytime our music is used to call attention to a worthy charity, that’s a great thing,” Casey said.
KC & the Sunshine Band will be joined by the Little River Band at the concert for charity, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd.
In the mid-1970s, KC & the Sunshine Band scored four No. 1 singles: the disco classics “Get Down Tonight,” “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty” and “I’m Your Boogie Man.” The Little River Band was a mainstay on radio in the U.S. between 1977 and 1983, with hits such as “Reminiscing,” “Cool Change” and “Lonesome Loser.”
Casey said time hasn’t dimmed his enthusiasm for performing live.
“I love doing this,” he said. “There’s nothing greater than having that connection with those who supported you over the years, and with those who have never seen you before.
“There are 15 of us on stage, and everybody is a part of the show.”
For ticket information, call (937) 296-3300 or go to www.fraze.com