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:
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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4 thoughts on “Casey Kasem Memories”
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.
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.
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.
One of my favorite memories growing up listening to him. I also liked where he would interview the artist and ask them questions. I will never forget Little River band was one of my favorite bands and he asked the singer about Lady. He gave him the story of a real girl he use to see at the nightclub he was playing out. Graham I think. I am looking forward to the show tonight. I always agree with the children over the stepmother lol