Culture

Radio legend and Top 40 standard Casey Kasem, dead at 82

It was confirmed today that Casey Kasem, the soothing voice behind the Top 40 radio countdown and cartoon voice-actor, passed away at the age of 82 according to his daughter. Kasem was suffering from Lewy body disease, a form of dementia that lead to Kasem’s name hitting the headlines these past few weeks as he went temporarily missing.
 
There has been a public battle for the protective/legal rights over Kasem in the past. The battle was between second-wife May and her stepchildren, against daughter Kerri. In those proceedings the daughter stated that there were issues that prevent her from visiting her father. In the end Kerri Kasem was granted visitation, and the rights to medical decisions.
 
In the early 1970s the popular DJ was host of the syndicated radio program “American Top 40,” as he hosted the countdown for week’s top-hits and said “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.” That was his closing line until the end of the program in 1988.
 
Older readers may remember his work as the voice of Shaggy on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?,” as well as other less popular roles in animated series.
 
The half-hour TV series “America’s Top 10,” went on into the 90s, until it too was closed-down. A graduate from Wayne State University, Kasem started it all in the Korean War working for Armed Forces Radio. It was in 1985 that Kasem was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.