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