News / Arts & Entertainment

    Casey Kasem, 'American Top 40' Host, Dies at Age 82

    FILE - Casey Kasem poses for photographers after receiving the Radio Icon award during The 2003 Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas. Kasem died at the age of 82, June 15, 2014.
    FILE - Casey Kasem poses for photographers after receiving the Radio Icon award during The 2003 Radio Music Awards in Las Vegas. Kasem died at the age of 82, June 15, 2014.
    VOA News
    Casey Kasem, the U.S. radio personality with the distinctive voice who counted down the top pop music hits on his popular weekly show and also provided the voice of hippie sleuth Shaggy on the "Scooby Doo'' cartoons, died on Sunday. He was 82.
     
    “Early this Father's Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends,” his daughter, Kerri Kasem, said in a statement posted online. “Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken.”
     
    FILE - Casey Kasem, along with his wife, Jean Kasem, arrives at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kasem, the smooth-voiced radio broadcaster who became the king of the top 40 countdown, died at age 82, June 15, 2014.FILE - Casey Kasem, along with his wife, Jean Kasem, arrives at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kasem, the smooth-voiced radio broadcaster who became the king of the top 40 countdown, died at age 82, June 15, 2014.
    x
    FILE - Casey Kasem, along with his wife, Jean Kasem, arrives at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kasem, the smooth-voiced radio broadcaster who became the king of the top 40 countdown, died at age 82, June 15, 2014.
    FILE - Casey Kasem, along with his wife, Jean Kasem, arrives at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Kasem, the smooth-voiced radio broadcaster who became the king of the top 40 countdown, died at age 82, June 15, 2014.

    In recent years, Kasem was trapped in a feud between his three adult children and his second wife, former actress Jean Kasem.
     
    In 2013, his children filed a legal petition to gain control of his health care, alleging that Casey Kasem was suffering from advanced Parkinson's disease and that his wife was isolating him from friends and family members.
     
    He also suffered from Lewy Body Disease, a form of dementia.
     
    Last week Casey Kasem, who had developed a severe bedsore while in Washington, was placed in “comfort-oriented care” in a Washington state hospital.
     
    He was receiving pain medication, but not food or water, after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy determined that feeding him would have been detrimental to his health, Reuters reported.
     
    It was a sad, startling end for a man whose voice had entertained and informed music lovers worldwide.
     
    Born in Detroit

    Kemal Amin Kasem was born in 1932 in Detroit, the son of Lebanese immigrants.
     
    He was active in speaking out for greater understanding of Arab-Americans - both on political issues involving the Mideast and on arts and media issues.
     
    Casey Kasem 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.
     
    VOA's Eric Felten Looks Back at Casey Kasem's Career
    A Look Back at Casey Kasem's Careeri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    Kasem became perhaps best-known for his “American Top 40,” which began on July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles. The No. 1 song on his list then was “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” by Three Dog Night.
     
    He stepped down from “American Top 40” in 2004 and retired altogether in 2009.
     
    On his syndicated show, Kasem counted down the 40 most popular songs of the week in order, finishing with the No. 1 song. Before each song, Kasem told an upbeat anecdote about the singer's road to success and read letters from listeners.
     
    At its peak, Kasem's show was heard on more than 1,000 stations, including Armed Forces Radio, in about 50 countries.

    “I accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That is the timeless thing,” Kasem told The New York Times in 1990.

    "Long-distance dedications"

    While many DJs entertained listeners with stunts and “morning zoo” snarkiness, Kasem would read “long-distance dedications” of songs sent in by readers and introduce countdown records with sympathetic background anecdotes about the singers.
     
    The show continued in varying forms - and for varying syndicators - until his retirement in 2009. In his signoff, he would tell viewers: “And don't forget: keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
     
    Kasem's legacy reached well beyond music. His voice was heard in TV cartoons such as “Scooby-Doo” (he was Shaggy) and in numerous commercials.
     
    “They are going to be playing Shaggy and Scooby-Doo for eons and eons,” Kasem told The New York Times in 2004.
     
    “And they're going to forget Casey Kasem - unless they happen to step on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I'll be one of those guys people say `Who's that?' about. And someone else will say, `He's just some guy who used to be on the radio.’“
     
    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures