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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”