Casey Kasem, the voice of America, passes away
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/16/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pop culture icon of the 1970s and '80s, Casey Kasem, passed away on June 15 at the age of 82 at a hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" could be heard on over 1,000 radio stations at its peak.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Famous for the "American Top 40" as well as providing the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby Doo cartoon, the American icon's last few years were an ugly contrast to his dependable and friendly demeanor.
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Kasem suffered from a form of dementia, and the last few months of his treatment suffered from bitter legal battles between his three children and his second wife, Jean. This affixed Kasem and his situation directly in the spotlight of tabloids, even though it was not clear if he was aware of these issues, or could even understand them.
If it were any of the other, innumerable, bad-behaving stars out there, this would be expected; but this is Kasem, whose work epitomized the gentler, more romantic side of pop culture and had been out of the limelight for decades.
Under Kasem, "American Top 40" was a refuge from shock jocks or screaming radio personalities. It was a dependable and homey alternative, where Kasem weaved stories around the songs, brought in anecdotes about interactions with fans or about the stars themselves.
At its peak, the show played on some 1,000 stations and could be heard from New York to Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.
Between the countdowns where long-distance dedications by long-lost or distant lovers, and only a cynic could feel cold from some of the letters Kasem read.
At the end of every show, Kasem would give his signature words of advice: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."
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