AT40

Casey Kasem Memories

It was sad to hear the news today that legendary radio voice Casey Kasem passed away at age 82. Kasem was the voice of American Top 40 from the beginning with the first show aired on July 4th, 1970.  He continued to be the voice of AT40 until his last show on July 4th, 2009.

When WBLU Salem started running AT40, I used to try and listen to the show every week. Kasem would count down the 40 biggest songs on the Billboard Hot 100 and I would always hear how songs were charting nationally compared to the two Top 40 stations in the Roanoke area (WBLU and WROV Roanoke).  As a whole, WROV generally added songs earlier than TOP 40 powerhouse stations like WLS Chicago and WABC New York, so the AT40 countdown each week tended to be a little bit behind what the top ten songs were in Roanoke.

Here are the songs that Casey Kasem played on the first AT40 show on July 4th, 1970:

AMERICAN TOP 40 – JULY 4, 1970
40 Marvin Gaye – The End Of Our Road
39 Mark Lindsay – Silver Bird
38 Eric Burdon and War – Spill The Wine
37 Crabby Appleton – Go Back
36 B.J. Thomas – I Just Can’t Help Believing
35 Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark
34 John Phillips – Mississippi
33 The Flaming Ember – Westbound #9
32 The Four Tops – It’s All In The Game
31 The 5th Dimension – Save The Country
30 Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Ohio
29 Ray Stevens – Everything Is Beautiful
28 The Impressions – Check Out Your Mind!
27 The Moody Blues – Question
26 Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
25 The Archies – Sugar, Sugar
24 Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – Teach Your Children
23 The Poppy Family – Which Way You Goin’ Billy?
Oldie: Bill Cosby – Little Ole Man
22 The Moments – Love On A Two-Way Street
21 Mountain – Mississippi Queen
20 Bread – Make It With You
19 Pacific Gas and Electric – Are You Ready?
18 Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Love Land
17 Alive ‘N Kickin’ – Tighter, Tighter
16 White Plains – My Baby Loves Lovin’
15 Miguel Rios – A Song Of Joy
Oldie: Louis Armstrong – Hello, Dolly!
14 Brotherhood Of Man – United We Stand
13 Rare Earth – Get Ready
12 The Five Stairsteps – O-o-h Child
11 The Pipkins – Gimme Dat Ding
10 Vanity Fair – Hitchin’ A Ride
Oldie: Blood, Sweat, and Tears – Spinning Wheel
09 Elvis Presley – The Wonder Of You
08 The Beatles – The Long And Winding Road
07 The Carpenters – (They Long To Be) Close To You
06 Melanie- Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)
05 Freda Payne – Band Of Gold
04 Blues Image – Ride Captain Ride
03 The Temptations – Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)
02 The Jackson 5 – The Love You Save
Oldie: The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
01 Three Dog Night – Mama Told Me (Not To Come)  ** 1 week @ no. 1 **
As you can tell, Top 40 radio had a lot of variety during the summer of 1970.  Thank you Casey Kasem for bringing the top songs to us every week on American Top 40.  You will be missed!

What are your memories of Casey Kasem and American Top 40?  Were you a regular listener of AT40 at some point in your life?

Since this is my first blog, I am interested in hearing your comments in relation to my musical musings.   I welcome your thoughts and hope you will follow my blog as we explore musical history together.  As Casey Kasem once said, “And don’t forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

 

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3 thoughts on “Casey Kasem Memories

  1. Amy says:

    I always like listening to AT40 Sunday morning on SunnyFM. I know many songs from the 70s but it’s always interesting to hear songs that aren’t on the hot rotation on oldies radio stations.

  2. Wayne Alexander says:

    I also remember listening to AT40 on WBLU 1480. If memory serves me correctly, WFIR 960 carried it for awhile and K92 ran it in the 80’s. I enjoyed the way Casey would give background information on the various artists and answer listener questions about songs, artists, etc. An almost cruel ironic twist to Casey’s passing is the recent death of Tom Rounds, who was the original producer of AT40.

  3. David Maddox says:

    Heard some interesting trivia this past week from a DJ early in the day of AT40. The early shows were recorded on vinyl records, and shipped to the various stations that would carry the program. It would get to the end of the segment/side, the station operator/DJ would have to get a commercial going, flip the record, and continue with the show. I’d bet more than once, someone, somewhere, got the sequence out of order, or played the same side twice.

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