I like the storytelling and reading the letters, the long-distance dedications. Anytime in radio that you can reach somebody on an emotional level, you’re really connecting. ~Casey Kasem
April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014
Kemal Amin Kasem, or better known as Casey Kasem joins the list of celebrities who have moved on to that big stage in the sky.
At the age of 82, Kasem, a Detroit born native, was well known from his days as an actor, a voice over for many cartoons including Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, but mostly from the radio. He was the radio personality and co-founder behind American Top 40, American Top 20, and American Top 10.
I remember Casey Kasem all too well with his long distance dedications. It’s true, I too listened to him when I was younger. I loved hearing the countdowns and trying to guess who was on that list, who moved up the list, and those that moved down the list or fell off completely. How could anyone not love that friendly all American voice? He was the radio!
During my college years when I waitressed and bartended, I worked at a local restaurant called DeNunzio’s, in Jeannette. Just about every Sunday I would work the entire day shift. Since we didn’t serve breakfast, I would be working in the kitchen helping to stock or clean or whatever needed prepped to get ready for the busy day ahead. The chefs would always have the radio playing and it was usually Casey Kasem. During a long distance dedication they would turn up the volume for all to hear. Granted, we were usually making fun of the sap or lost soul (not always) yet there was a familiarity and soothing quality to Kasem’s voice. He always sounded so sincere and gentle. Every time I heard Casey Kasem, he took me back to my childhood, even in my early to mid-twenties.
Here’s a little pop trivia. Did you know Casey Kasem made a cameo appearance in the Ghostbusters movie? Yep! Remember, he talked about the Ghostbusters who stayed at the nightclub to dance the night away with some of the pretty young ladies. No joke, I first saw that movie when it came out in 1984, at the High-way Drive-In in Latrobe. I recognized Kasem’s voice immediately! Every time I watched that movie since, I always stopped at that part and chuckled to myself, thinking of his long distance dedications.
Also, many may not know, Kasem served as an Army Announcer during the Korean War. I bet he brought a piece of home to our troops every time he aired.
I know there was a lot going on between Casey’s wife and children. His daughter Kerri made her appearance a few times on Fox News, especially recently when he went missing. I hope they all begin to heal after their loss and find peace.
So here’s my long distance dedication to you Mr. Casey Kasem. God Speed!