Breaking News Bar
updated: 6/15/2014 4:32 PM

10 things you might not know about Casey Kasem

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • In this Jan. 26, 1991, file photo, entertainer Casey Kasem leads a group estimated at 15,000 people through the streets in Los Angeles protesting the United States' involvement in the Persian Gulf.

      In this Jan. 26, 1991, file photo, entertainer Casey Kasem leads a group estimated at 15,000 people through the streets in Los Angeles protesting the United States' involvement in the Persian Gulf.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Counting down the top 10 things you might not know about radio personality Casey Kasem, the founding voice of "American Top 40," who died Sunday:

10. Beginning in 1969, Kasem voiced the character Shaggy for the animated series "Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!" He continued to voice the long-haired hippie in TV, film and video games until 2009. He also gave voice to characters on "Sesame Street" and the 1986 "Transformers" movie, along with voicing Robin on "Super Friends."

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

9. Kasem's work on radio commercials was highly lucrative -- and not nearly as easy as it might have seemed for someone so smooth on the air. "The greatest compliment that anyone can pay me is that after I say something, they remember it," he once said. "I'll go over a piece of copy until I've gotten the essence of what the writer had in mind, every nuance."

8. In addition to his radio show and voice work, Kasem was the co-host of a teen dance show on Los Angeles television during the 1960s called "Shebang." He also had a minor hit single during that time, "Letter From Elaina," and appeared in a few low-budget movies and some network TV series, including "Hawaii Five-O" and "Ironside."

7. While Kasem seldom appeared onscreen, his second wife, Jean Kasem, was a semi-regular in the sitcom "Cheers" as Loretta Tortelli and a regular in a short-lived spinoff, "The Tortellis."

6. Kasem gained attention in the 1990s when he blew up because of a staff error on his "American Top 40" show and his taped remarks, swearing and all, made their way into cyberspace. He told The New York Times in 2004 that he didn't know it had been made public until years later.

5. Kasem was a vegetarian and an activist against factory farming.

4. An Arab-American activist, Kasem called for a fairer balance between heroes and villains in the 1994 Disney Aladdin sequel, "The Return of Jafar." But he added, "We're not out there just to be so picky that we become a pain in the neck. We're there to do what we can to call attention to the sensitivity of not only Arab-Americans, but to any ethnic group."

3. As host of "American Top 40," Kasem introduced a romantic segment called Long Distance Dedications. Listeners would send in their dedications, and Kasem would pick a few heartfelt messages to read each week on the air, playing the love song that went with it. The first Long Distance Dedication Kasem played was Neil Diamond's "Desiree" on Aug. 26, 1978.

2. When "American Top 40" premiered on July 4, 1970, the top five songs were: Three Dog Night's "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)," The Jackson Five's "The Love You Save," The Temptations' "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World is Today)," "Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image and Freda Payne's "Band of Gold." When Kasem retired from "AT40" at the end of 2003, the top five tracks were: "Hey Ya" by Outkast, "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down, "Suga Suga" by Baby Bash, "Perfect" by Simple Plan and Nickelback's "Someday."

1. "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars." -- The radio signoff Kasem used throughout his five-decade career.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.