Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beloved Casey Kasem Has Died

We all knew he was not in good health the last few years, and his condition worsened in recent months.  Inside The Rock Era is saddened to tell you that Kasem Kasem, one of the world's most famous disc jockeys, legendary host of the landmark radio show American Top 40, and an indelible part of Americana, has died.  Casey was 82.

Kasem had been hospitalized in Washington state for the past two weeks.  This morning, we got this news:

"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.
Kasem founded and hosted American Top 40 for 39 years, one of the top-rated radio shows of all-time.  He also voiced the character, Shaggy, on the popular cartoon series Scooby Doo, Where Are You!
Casey, the millions of fans who listened to you each week on AT-40 will miss your friendly voice.  It didn't take much listening to realize this was a good person with a warm heart.  For me personally, the news is especially sad--when I was looking for guidance on my project The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era*, and had sent Casey a packet with information about the project, he not only called me back, but he did so several times, and even gave me his home number so I could talk to him.  Here was this incredible, iconic figure in radio, and he would stop to talk to me.  I never will forget his advice, his professionalism, and what it meant to me.
Kasem, the much-loved star of American Top 40, always closed his show with these words, and, it's appropriate now that I paraphrase them:
Casey, you "kept your feet on the ground, and now, you are part of the stars".  We will miss you.

Kasem had an amazing chart run of 4,271 weeks on this planet, and he accomplished much for the human race.

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