Growing up, most of my Saturday’s consisted of a couple of things. Usually going to work for my parents and on the trip to work at at work, you can be sure that the radio was tuned to American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. That show was a staple in my family. The family business sold records and tapes, you younger folks will need to look those terms up, so we needed to know what songs were where on the list. Was there a new song that we needed to order that week? How much moving of the records we had did we need to move around. A lot of that information came from Billboard magazine, but we always listened to Casey.
Of course as a kid the show also helped in other ways. Mixtapes. 🙂 Again, the younger audience will need to look that up. I was like every other kid my age. Every so often I would get a new blank cassette tape, pop it in my boom box and be ready to press record. Music plays a big role in the life of teenagers.
But the biggest memory I have of Casey Kasem is really an extension of America Top 40. It was the Top 100 songs of the year. Every year around New Year’s Eve, Casey would be playing the top 100 songs of the year. And just like every other New Year’s Eve, we normally would be in Cincinnati to ring in the new year. As we were driving from house to house to visit family in the area, we would have the radio tuned to Casey to hear the Top 100 songs. Who was number 1? Where did my favorite song of the year land?
Music has a way of doing that. Bringing back memories. From mix tapes to event in our lives. One thing I have been asked at church is to put together a worship tweet. Basically take a song we sing at church and tweet what makes it special to me. We will take the tweets and … well we haven’t got that far wit it yet. More on that later. 🙂
For me it was easy. Down to the River and Pray was my choice. Even though to the best of my knowledge we have only done it once at church, it was the song that started our baptism service the Sunday Gabe accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was baptized. You can read more about that story here.
I can’t hear that song now without thinking of that morning. I have added it to my current walking playlist. You young folks who are to lazy to look up mixtapes, think of a mixtape as a mp3 player with your playlist on it but an older format. 🙂 Anyway, that was the song I used. Like I said, I can’t hear that song without thinking of that morning. Music just has that affect on people. You hear a song and instantly you remember something associated with that song.
Maybe that is why Casey always had a long distance dedication in his shows. A listener would want to dedicate a song to someone special, so they would mail Casey the name of the song and the person they wanted to dedicate a song to. Casey would then read the letter on the show and then play the song.
What, you don’t know what mail is? Gee, how young are you? Anyway, that would be where you write something on paper, stick in an envelope, lick a stamp and stick it on the envelope and drop it in a mailbox. Again that last part was for you younger folks who only know email and/or Facebook.
Anyway, just how powerful was music and the American Top 40? If you listened to it, comment below on how Casey would end his show. I will bet you anything that if you listened to it, you know. 🙂
RIP Casey. You are among those stars now.