Brent Porche

Brent Porche

Brent Porche

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 27: Radio Personality Kasey Casem with his award backckstage at The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Casino Resort October 27, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

Happy Heavenly Birthday to Casey Kasem! He was born Kemal Amin Kasem on April 27th, 1932, in Detroit Rock City. Though, I was more than likely introduced to Casey through his voice work as Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoons, which he did for over 35 years. Or, maybe it was his voice as Robin & Dick Grayson in the Super Friends cartoon series which he was a part of for close to 15 years. However, it was his work on the radio as a disc jockey & presenter of the ‘American Top 40’ & ‘American Top 20’ that I truly remember that golden voice of his.

On July 4th, 1970, along with Don Bustany, they launched a weekly radio program loosely based on the TV program Your Hit Parade. The show would count down the Top 40 songs from #40 to #1 based on the Billboard Hot 100 weekly chart. The information and trivia about the bands and artist as well as the “Long-Distance Dedication” segments were as popular on the program as the music itself. The show started on seven stations initially but was soon syndicated nationwide. Casey mentions in the clip below that the first show took 18 hours to record!

As a kid, I remember coming home from church on Sunday’s and heading up to my room with a blank cassette in hand, ready to record all my favorite songs of the week from ‘AT40’. I probably still have some of those shows on cassette somewhere covered in a lot of dust.

Exactly 39 years to the day after his first countdown show, Casey Kasem’s final radio program, then known as “American Top 20 with Casey Kasem” aired nationally on terrestrial radio July 4th, 2009. And I didn’t realize this until a few years later, but the final #1 song on the Kasem’s countdown was Shinedown’s “Second Chance”. Where it topped the countdown for 3 consecutive weeks! Yup, how cool!?

Kasem’s final words at the end of the program, directly after “Second Chance” aired were very poignant, “Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re only as good as the people you work with, and the people you work for. I’ve been lucky. I’ve worked for and with the very best.”

He truly was one of the best! And I give a lot of credit to Casey Kasem for giving me the desire to one day be a disc jockey and radio presenter like himself.

Happy Birthday Casey Kasem! -bp

  • Casey Kasem's Final #1 Ever

  • Shinedown - Second Chance (Official Video)

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    Shinedown on wmmr.com

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