Legendary Radio Icon of ‘American Top 40′ & ‘Casey’s Top 40′ Fame Casey Kasem Dies at Age 82 … “Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Keep Reaching for the Stars”
AMERICAN RADIO ICON CASEY KASEM DEAD AT THE AGE OF 82 …
Casey Kasem, the man who entertained radio listeners for decades as the host of his weekly countdown shows such as “American Top 40″ and “Casey’s Top 40,” and let us not forget the voice of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, died early Sunday morning. Long before the days of internet music downloads and CD’s there was Casey Kasem counting down the hits, doing long distance dedications and telling us at the end of each broadcast to “”Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”. The announcement of Kasem’s death came from his children. Kasem died Sunday surrounded by family and friends of Lewy body disease, a common form of progressive dementia.
(April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014)
“Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” Kasem’s children — Kerri, Mike and Julie — wrote in a statement released by Kasem’s representative, Danny Deraney.
“Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken … The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad.”
Casey Kasem had been suffering from Lewy body disease, the most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s.
Casey Kasem was the voice of so many cartoon characters, the most famous being Shaggy Rogers of Scooby-Doo fame. Buts he was also the the voice of Mark from ‘Battle of the Planets’, Robin, the Boy Wonder from ‘The Super Friends‘, Jana of the Jungle, Hong Kong Phooey and Josie and the Pussy Cats in Outer Space.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, Kasem was active in speaking out for greater understanding of Arab-Americans – both on political issues involving the Mideast and on arts and media issues.
“Arab-Americans are coming out of the closet,” Kasem told The Associated Press in 1990. “They are more outspoken now than ever before. People are beginning to realize who they really are, that they are not the people who yell and scream on their nightly newscast.”
Kasem was born Kemal Amin Kasem in 1932 in Detroit. He began his broadcasting career in the radio club at Detroit’s Northwestern High School and was soon a disc jockey on WJBK radio in Detroit, initially calling himself Kemal Kasem.
In a 1997 visit with high school students in Dearborn, Michigan., home to a large Arab-American community, he was asked why he changed his name to Casey.
“It didn’t sound like a deejay; it wasn’t hip. So we decided I’d be `Casey at the Mike’ – and I have been since,” Kasem said.
America’s Top 10 June 21, 1981 Casey Kasem Stars On 45 # 1
45 records … remember those America!
Sadly at the end of his life. Casey Kasem had been the subject of a bitter court battle involving three of his children by a previous marriage and his wife, Jean. Casey is obviously in a better place where he can truly “reach for the stars”.
On a person note, the death of Casey Kasem does feel like of personal loss of my childhood days. I can remember tuning in weekly for American Top 40 and listing to the countdown of the top songs of record sales and air play. If you couldn’t listen to it live, you would tape it on a cassette or dare I say 8-track tape. For the youth of today who only know of iPods, you might want to Google 8-tracks . For a generation of kids, in days gone past, we made sure we were near a radio for Casey Kasem and his countdown. You will be missed Casey and thank you so much for everything you did and the enjoyment you gave to so many. God Bless and Rest in Peace.