“Billboard ranks ’em; AT40 counts ’em down…”
I must have heard that 500 times as a child. Listening to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem was a tradition for me, my sister, and a lot of our friends in the neighborhood, too.
Casey Kasem had such a great voice for radio, and a wonderful sense of timing. Before the frenetic era MTV would usher in, and well before most people could even imagine the World Wide Web, Kasem’s few hours with us every Sunday were a direct connection to this marvelous world of popular music. His was the most important plank of a platform that also included Solid Gold and the weekly Billboard listings in the paper.
More largely, for me, he’s also another one of those direct pipelines to memories that exist solely (or nearly so) before my parents divorced. He is a bona fide voice of my childhood; a visceral conduit to a time when my list of things to worry about was short indeed.
Thank you, Casey Kasem. RIP.