It was the perfect night for a concert at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, Long Island.
Making the evening even more ideal was that the concert was free.
As one big thank you to fans for 40 years of loyalty, WCBS-FM hosted its Saturday in the Park with disco great KC and the Sunshine Band.
The on-air gang was there for hours, just like the throngs of listeners. “Broadway” Bill Lee did a later than usual Saturday show, as a live remote just feet from the stage. Fittingly, he stayed on the air until, “Brooklyn’s Own” Joe Causi (above) started his Saturday Night Seventies on scene. The air personalities, including Ron Parker, signed autographs from adoring fans.
Causi provided the “opening act” for KC and the Sunshine Band. Waiting for the sun to set, the classic disco band took the stage at 8:30.
Many had been camped out for hours, bringing food and drink with their blankets and chairs. By this reporter’s estimate, several thousand filled the lawn surrounding the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater.
Just prior to showtime, the trio of jocks took to the stage separately, ultimately leading to the concert. Lee said in his brief introduction to the crowd that the event was record setting. Approximately 30 minutes before the strobe lights were dazzling and the disco ball was twirling, the park filled to capacity. Police turned away last minute arrivals.
For those who did see Harry Wayne “Casey” and his Sunshine Band, he didn’t disappoint. Although the crowd was more enthralled by the full-blown disco tunes than the ballad block he did.
Casey ended his slow portion of the concert, paying tribute to the Colorado tragedy Friday morning. He chose the Jackie DeShannon 1969 hit, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, and asked everyone to sing along.
At one point, Casey, who performed for an hour, 45 minutes, told those assembled that he got started professionally in 1972. However, he didn’t make the link to CBS-FM and its own four decades in the business.
Photo Credit: Mary Shaw