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American Radio Jockey Casey Kasem

Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of some of the most influential people, who are no longer amongst us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the American Radio Jockey Casey Kasem.

The Initial Spark

Kemal Amin Kasem (Casey Kasem) was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1932. As a young boy, Kasem joined his school’s radio club. His experience there provided the initial spark that fueled his entire life’s career.  In around 1952 Kasem was drafted into the American army and shipped off to Korea where he once again utilised his broadcasting and vocal talents at the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network, working as a jockey and an announcer.

Setting the Standard

Upon his return to America, Kasem worked for radio stations across various cities. While working as an announcer in Oakland, Kasem developed his iconic “teaser and bio” feature. Herein he would narrate biographical facts about musicians in between the songs he played, in order to make his shows more interesting and unique. This style of hosting is now standard practice in the industry.

Casey Kasem’s other major contribution to the radio industry came in 1970, in the form of the iconic show American Top 40. During the show, Kasem counted down the latest American music chart toppers. The show gained instant success and became a international radio phenomenon. Kasem’s style and format for the show are followed today by all leading radio stations, worldwide.

Kasem was the youngest person to be included into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992. He earned his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1981.

Apart from his contribution to the radio industy, Kasem also worked as a voice artist. He was asked to lend his voice to many big screen productions including Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, where he voiced the part of Shaggy, and The Batman/Superman Hour, where he lent his voice to Robin.

Casey Kasem went off the air in 2009, after a glorious career spanning 39 years. He died in 2014.

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