Casey Kasem says goodbye to 'American Top 20': Sniff!

Casey-Kasem_l I now present to you a special countdown: The Top 20 reasons why I was so sad this past weekend. Ready? Okay, here goes…. Reason 20: I ate a Twinkie for the first time in 15 years, and it wasn't nearly as good as I remembered. Reason 19: Actually, scratch that. There's no reason to share the rest of the countdown, since reasons 19-1 are: Because Casey Kasem officially said goodbye to his American Top 20. (The radio icon had been hosting an abridged version of American Top 40 after he left the original program in 2004.)

I know. Tragic, right? Especially since the 77-year-old radio host left his classic program with barely any fanfare. So why is he leaving? Though I immediately blamed those meddlesome kids — after all, the man  famously voiced Scooby-Doo's Shaggy — it appears as though the host is leaving to pursue other projects, like a memoir. Impressive, considering most men his age retire to the golf course, or to the couch to watch re-runs of Matlock. But not Casey. And would we expect any less? The workaholic lent his voice to American Top 20's program for 39 freakin' years! And I was lucky enough to have been listening for at least 14, when the host schooled me on the backgrounds of the likes of Shawn Colvin, Everclear, and the Backstreet Boys.

So thank you, Casey Kasem, for your hard work all these years! And I bid you a very appreciative, albeit sad, adieu. I will eat a Scooby snack in your honor.

Let's give him his due, PopWatchers! What's your favorite Casey Kasem memory?

addCredit("Lee Celano/Reuters/Landov")

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  • pai

    Awww, the hits won’t keep on coming. Thanks for all the years, Casey. Growing up I just HAD to listen to America’s Top 40 every weekend. Here’s a long-distance dedication to you, Casey!

  • PMD

    Gosh I remember when he was on my fave telly show growing up – Saved By The Bell… I just remember Casey Kasem was at the Max and there was a dance or something with the gang…

  • Jenn

    My favorite CK memory is definitely his appearance on Saved by the Bell. Dance contest at the Max!

  • Tony Coelho

    EVERYTHING…JUST ALL OF IT!!! The best though is waking up early Sunday Morning to hear what were the New Debuts on the Chart…He’s my Icon!!!
    Hey EW how about 4 diffrent Casey Covers??? Love Micheal too…but was he there every Sunday morning ready to spend 3 or 4 hours with you??? Love U forever Casey!!! Cant wait for the memoir….Keep rocking Kate!!

  • Christopher

    When i was growing up in the 70’s/80’s, Casey and AT40 were a very integral part of my life. I don’t think i missed one show between 1979-1985. I would take my little transistor radio into bed with me Saturday morning and wait for the debuts, the long distance dedications and of course “the #1 song in all the land.” I get goosebumps now just thinking about it. You will missed deeply by me and music lovers everywhere.

  • Youtuber

    GO to Youtube and watch
    LITTLE MONKEY BOY CLIMBING
    its a hilarious video!

  • LeapDayBaby

    I’m surprised that no one’s mentioned the infamous outtake in which CK goes on a rant about coming out of “an uptempo number” and having to talk about someone’s dead pet. Ponderous, man. (Bleep)ing ponderous. :)

  • Funtricia Gina

    Oh babe.. don’t go.I will miss you but now you have more time to spend with me.Holla @ http://www.funwithgina.com/profile.php?show_profile_id=29

  • Toddie

    Like others, CK was an integral part of my ‘tween years where I’d spend all afternoon listening. For some reason, I particularly remember the Long Distance Dedications.

  • Pancho

    KC you intertain me playing all those hits on the radio. You are realy a radio legend. You have done your part on this earth, by giving all of us good memories when playing and giving us info on music and artist. Best of luck and God bless you and your family for letting you be part of America’s lives.
    DAllas, Tx.

  • Suzanne

    I feel so sad. I first started listening to Casey when The Carpenters and the Monkees were competing. In the 21st century there’s no need for long-distance dedications anymore. So, so sad. Like Christopher, a few comments down, I listened to the countdown with my siblings every Sat. morning for years. Thing is–most of the songs were really good back then. I hate to be an old fart, but maybe Casey is leaving because he just can’t stand listening to most of the songs. Boom Boom Pow has sent Casey packing!

  • Hamburger Royal

    I only got to listen to KC after I moved to the US in 1999. Coming from Europe, I never heard long distance dedications or the artist background information and all those things that made AT40 so delightfully anachronistic. Listening to AT40 driving in my car to some place on Sundays with KC’s unique and pleasant timbre announcing the number one song in all the land on three or four stations at the same time (must be a New England thing…) are among my fonder memories of America. And that was my Long Distance Dedication.

  • JMB

    Dear Casey,
    My childhood was spent listening to the Top 40, and learning interesting tidbits about the artists from you. And your Shaggy was the original and best, man. Now, you’re only heard in reruns of Scooby Doo, and generations of kids don’t even know who you are. That makes me really sad. Could you play “The Theme from Scooby Doo” for me? It would mean a lot.
    Thanks,
    Julie

  • Mike

    I listened to Casey Kasem right from the start. I can remember him revealing the secrets to songs as well, like little tidbits like “what other song is being sung in the background of the Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer?'” A little of the mystery of listening to the show was revealed to me when I became a disc jockey out of college only to learn that Casey came in an album sleeve that I played every Sunday morning, complete with commercials and special announcements. All I had to do was sit there and change the records for the second half of the show. Still, there’s no denying the guy had one of the most unique radio voices and styles to ever hit the airwaves. There’ are few, if any, out there today that match his quality, thanks to the complete corporatizing of the media. And the best ending signoff ever: “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.”

  • Francisco

    Loved him as the voice of Transformers character Cliffjumper!

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