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Archive for the ‘Disc Jockey’ Category

Died On This Date (June 15, 2014) Casey Kasem / Radio Pioneer; Host Of American Top 40

Posted by themusicsover on June 15, 2014

Kemal “Casey” Kasem
April 27, 1932 – June 15, 2014

casey-kasemCasey Kasem was an iconic American disc jockey and television personality.  He is best remembered as the original and long time host of the radio and then television program, America’s Top 40. Since its premiere on July 4th,1970, the program introduced each week’s top radio hits with Kasem counting them down from #40 to #1, a format he largely pioneered.    Born in Detroit, Michigan, Kasem began his career in nearby Flint in 1954 but was soon drafted by the US Army so moved on to Armed Forces Radio Korea Network.  Upon his discharge, Kasem returned to radio in the San Francisco area.  He later worked in such markets as Cleveland, Buffalo, and Los Angeles.  Along the way he developed a loyal following not only for his smooth delivery, but also the show’s long distance dedications,  oldies segments, and chart trivia. Kasem ended each program with his famous sign-off, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Kasem retired from the show in 1988 but returned for another run, 1998 to 2003.  Kasem also acted and did voice-over for countless films and television programs throughout his career. He retired in 2009. Casey Kasem, who was in ailing health in recent years, passed away on June 15, 2014.  He was 82.

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Died On This Date (September 3, 2013) Matthew Africa / Popular San Francisco Disc Jockey

Posted by themusicsover on September 8, 2012

Matthew Africa
DOB Unknown – September 3, 2012

Matthew Africa was a popular hip-hop DJ in the San Francisco bay area.  Africa began building his following after he joined U.C. Berkeley radio station, KALX-FM.  Over a career that spanned some 20 years, he was revered for his ability to find rare soul and hip-hop vinyl nuggets and introduce them to his audience.  He went on to become a popular club, party, and event DJ while fans gobbled up his mix tapes.  In recent years, Africa could be heard on  He also worked as an intellectual property attorney.  On September 3, 2012, Matthew Africa and his wife, Ha Le were driving home from Yosemite when, for unknown reasons, he reportedly lost control of his car and ultimately collided with a big rig.  While his wife was flown to a hospital with major injuries, Africa died from his injuries at the scene.  He was 40.

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Died On This Date (April 18, 2012) Dick Clark / America’s Oldest Teenager

Posted by themusicsover on April 18, 2012

Richard Clark
November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012

dick-clark1Dick Clark was a world-famous radio and television pioneer who, because of his longtime championing of pop music, along with his youthful good looks, was dubbed “America’s Oldest Teenager.”  Clark was just 17 when he took his first job in the music business – as a sales rep for a New York radio station.  By the early ’50s, he was hosting his own radio program, Caravan of Music at WFIL in Philadelphia.  In 1956, he took over the station’s TV affiliate’s teen music program, Bob Horn’s Bandstand.  Within a year, ABC brought the show, now American Bandstand, into living rooms across the United States.  Over the next four decades, American Bandstand, with Clark as host, presented new records and “live” performances by hundreds if not thousands of famous and not-so-famous pop acts the world has ever known.  The program, which aired until 1989, became the blueprint for teen music television programming, but none of its followers (except perhaps Soul Train) were ever able to come close to matching its cultural impact.  Despite Clark’s clean-cut persona, he was a tireless supporter of the music he presented – whether he was speaking out against censorship, or choosing to play the original R&B records by their Black performers over the “sanitized” versions by White artists which were popular in his early days of radio.  In 1972, Clark launched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which rang in the new year from Times Square in New York City with a program filled with performances from popular music acts of that particular year.  Even after suffering a significant stroke in 2004, Clark returned in 2006, albeit with less screen time, as co-host of the program with Ryan Seacrest.  Over the years, Clark ran several other ventures as well – game shows, award shows, restaurants, and live theaters.  On April 18, 2012, Dick Clark died after suffering a heart attack.  He was 82.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 31, 2012) King Stitt / Legendary Jamaican DeeJay

Posted by themusicsover on January 31, 2012

King Stitt (Born Winston Spark)
September 17, 1940 – January 31, 2012

King Stitt was, until the time of his passing, recognized as Jamaica’s oldest living deejay.  Stitt’s career dated back to the mid ’50s when he began deejaying for the legendary Coxsone Dodd on his Sound System.  Before he knew it, Stitt was releasing such influential deejay tracks as “Lee Van Cleef,” “Dance Beat,” and “Fire Corner” with such producers as Clancy Eccles and of course, Dodd himself.  In recent years, Stitt was featured in the The Studio One Story documentary and the to-be-released Legends Of Ska concert doc.   King Stitt was 71 when he passed away on January 31, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.

What You Should Own

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King Stitt

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Died On This Date (January 19, 2012) Errol Scorcher / Jamaican Raggae Deejay

Posted by themusicsover on January 19, 2012

Errol Scorcher (Born Errol Archer)
1956 – January 19, 2012

Errol Scorcher was a popular Jamaican deejay who built his following while working several soundsystems during the ’70s.  In 1978, he joined Prince Jammy’s Tapetown soundsystem which went on to become of Jamaica’s most popular.  Scorcher released albums like Rasta Fire, Unity Showcase, and Roach In De Corner.    The list of his hit singles includes “Roach In De Corner,” Frog In A Water,” and “Mosquitoes.”  On January 19, 2012, Earl Scorcher died after a blood vessel ruptured in his head.  He was 55.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

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