Sunday, June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem dead at 82

There are no more countdowns: famed radio DJ Casey Kasem has passed away following a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 82.

It may be hard for kids to day to appreciate, but in the days before the commercialized Internet and mobile- and social-enabled everything, his syndicated radio show, American Top 40, was as close to online connectivity as it got. The product, pop music, may have been ephemeral and shallow, but he packaged it so artfully that you felt like you were part of something bigger, something that mattered.

Little did I know how tuning in on whatever AM radio I happened to have close at hand would plant the seeds for my eventual career. Even as the teenaged me sometimes laughed at the apparent 1950s-era idealism of his delivery and scripting, deep down I knew that this was a masterful example of mass communication best practice. And indeed, even as the technology has continued to improve, we haven't yet seen another like him. And sadly, we likely never will.

I hope he keeps reaching for the stars. And I hope we all hold onto his simple, yet still relevant lessons for leading a better life.


Margie said...

He was awesome!
RIP Casey Kasem.

photodoug said...

The top 40 will never be the same. Rock On, Casey.