On July 4, 1970, Casey Kasems American Top 40 debuted,
and the Detroit native quickly became synonymous with the countdown
The format, reminiscent of the immensely popular Your Hit Parade
program in the 1930s and 1940s, allowed Kasem to blend human-interest
stories with the top songs of the day.
Kasems radio career began as a young actor on The Lone Ranger
during his student years at Wayne State University in Detroit. During
his military service in Korea, Kasem worked with the Armed Forces
Radio Service. Following his discharge in 1954, he worked as a disc jockey in Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
One day in 1962, while struggling with the idea for a new format
for his show, Kasem found a discarded magazine which contained facts
about recording artists. That evening he began introducing songs
with stories about the lives of musicians and singers with teaser
lead-ins. This teaser biography is now a standard in
The undisputed King of the Countdowns has worked for
ABC, Westwood One, and currently for the AMFM Radio Networks. Kasem
has also frequently served as host of the annual Radio Hall of Fame
Casey Kasem was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.
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