“Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” –Casey Kasem
Legendary radio host Casey Kasem died this morning (June 15), at 82.
For so many people, he helped organize pop music on his American Top 40 show into what would later in our lives become an obsession of lists. Lists are now the fuel that runs so much of what we read on the internet, and Kasem’s countdown shows were the prescient forebear to our times.
But before you could just Google what the top song in the country was that week, there was Kasem: Three hours of the best music from the Billboard charts every week, ranked with growing anticipation to what would be the No. 1 song in the country.
Over at Charis Music Group, — who are currently working to digitally restore every American Top 40 program produced — they have nice little museum of relics from Kasem’s show. Collected on their site are almost every broadcast of American Top 40, from Kasem’s inaugural weekend in July 1970, through to his final show in 1988, and even further to 1995 well into Shadoe Stevens’ reign of the program.
For those who were there and listened, it’s a fun trip down memory lane, and a peak behind the microphone of one of the most popular music radio shows of all time.
Peruse all the cue sheets here.
For a far more detailed account of Kasem’s show in the ’70s, seek out Pete Battistini’s book, American Top 40 With Casey Kasem (The Seventies).