Casey Kasem, the man with the legendary radio voice for AMERICAN TOP 40 and other voice work has died. He was a great figure in the world of radio broadcasting, with his own warm and distinctive style that both parents and kids trusted. Of all the song hit countdown shows aired, Casey Kasem’s was the most popular by far and the best packaged of the lot. Many local radio stations would air either the syndicated AMERICAN TOP 40 broadcast or else their own locally produced music countdown shows or offer printed copies of top 40 hits charts as 45rpm singles were once a major item for teenage collectors at one time. In 2009, the radio voice finally retired from his long career, only because he had taken ill with a form of dementia. In recent weeks, news of a conflict between his wife and daughter over his car made the news when a judge stripped his wife of power over his affairs. Jean Kasem wanted to continue his feeding, while his daughter moved in court to cut off his feeding and let him die because he was in a lot of pain.
The story of Casey Kasem was a unique and unlikely one. Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem was from Lebanese background and became one of America’s most popular Arab entertainers. Kasem was a follower of the Druze religion. When he was drafted into the military in 1952, his great voice landed him a role as a DJ for the armed services radio br0adcasts. He later went on to AMERICAN TOP 40 as his radio career advanced in 1970 until 1988, and other music countdown shows. He was also the famous voice for Shaggy Rivers from the SCOOBY DOO cartoons.
For myself, I just loved Casey Kasem’s music countdown shows because I was such a fan of music. He made this show interesting with bits of information about the artists that were sometimes not well known. And he always closed with the warm and uplifting saying, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”.
You were a great part of my life, Casey. You were a star…