See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Goodbye, Casey Kasem

Posted By on Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 10:18 AM


casey_kasem

So long, Casey!

Without any advance warning, this weekend radio legend Casey Kasem went off the air. After four decades on U.S. radio, he disappeared from the airwaves, ending his last countdown show for good, apparently.

For those who came of age between 1970 and 1988, Kasem’s warm, welcoming voice seemed to be everywhere over the weekend, whether hosting his popular American Top 40 show or voicing cartoon characters like Robin on Super Friends, Mark on Battle of the Planets and, most notably, proto-stoner Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. (Say it: “Zoinks!”) Also, before the 1980s really set in, it was a more liberal, relaxed time in America, and Kasem’s countdowns could seem like a clearinghouse for countercultural currents. For instance, we best remember Kasem’s AT40 from the spring of 1980, when “Another Brick in the Wall” hovered at No. 1 for four weeks. (Even in the waning days of the Carter administration, pop music was antagonistic to authority.)

Kasem, now 77, is probably due for retirement, but we’re a little cheesed at how quietly he’s gone off into the radio night, a relic of the past. Among the Internet set, he’ll perhaps be best remembered for those infamous outtake recordings him blowing his stack in the studio, such as the infamous “Snuggles” rant (179,984 views and counting).

But Kasem was more than a honey-voiced microphone jockey with a perfectionist streak. For us here in Michigan, he’s something of a local luminary. He’s a native Detroiter, a graduate of Northwestern High School and Wayne State University. He’s a proud Lebanese-American who’s an honorary member of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. If that isn’t cool enough, he’s sort of a leftie, having been a supporter of liberal candidates, including Ralph Nader, as well as an ardent vegan. (I guess those Scooby Snacks are meat-free!)

So, not to belabor the point, but, thanks, Casey. Thanks for all those great radio shows and those terrific weekend memories. We’ll do our best to keep those feet on the ground while we reach for those stars.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit