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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.