Casey Kasem brought joy to millions with his work on America’s Top 40, the countdown of the country’s most popular songs. The man had a golden voice – when you heard him on the radio it felt like he was sitting around the living room playing those singles with individual listeners in mind. As an Arab-American, Kasem also gave a lot of young people hope that they could come to this country and achieve the American Dream. Kasem’s broadcasting career began with Armed Forces Radio.
Kasem could really build up the suspense about what the Number One Hit was during his Top 40 radio show. You really were wondering whether Stevie Wonder was still at the top of the countdown for example or whether someone else had taken this spot. Kasem knew how to stay relevant, and appeal to a large number of age groups. He knew how to entertain people as well, his work as a voice actor with roles such as Shaggy on “Scooby Doo” proved that he could improvise and keep his audience interested. Kasem was an industry leader because he developed these important skills. If you want to become an industry leader, it makes sense to go to a top-notch broadcasting school, like Miami Media School.
Kasem had complete control of the microphone. He knew when to add an important or fun anecdote about a song. It was an event to listen to Kasem as you would hear about the latest singles and albums that were coming out. Kasem wanted kids to run down to the mall, pick up a new album and then just dance the night away. He understood the joy of music, bringing it to his audience in a fun way.
Attention to detail was very important to Kasem. A good broadcaster is always looking for a consistency. This means that a good broadcaster should be willing to do as many takes as they need to make sure their listeners are having an enjoyable experience. The way people get music is different these days, but it is hard to say that downloading your favorite tunes can give you the same positive feelings as listening to Casey Kasem on the radio. You can still find his voice being used on a number of different commercials. Casey Kasem was a trusted, recognizable voice – a comfort for many people.
What developments were afoot in the music business? You could get that kind of cool information from one major source, American Top 40. The show’s ratings really took a nose dive when Kasem left in order to focus on other projects in the 1990s. Three years after the original show was cancelled, Kasem had the resources to acquire the rights to his old show. He carried it again for another nine years and the show is now hosted by Ryan Seacreast.
Kasem died in 2014, but his legacy in radio and music will live on forever.