Here’s a long-distance goodbye to a man I never met but, thanks to radio, feel like I did.

Casey Kasem passed at the age of 82 this weekend and his legacy is immeasurable to DJs like myself and fellow i95 weekend DJ Chuck Johnson. Kasem is the guy who created the template for broadcasters like us who love to set up a song with trivia, back-stories and anecdotes that the listener either never knew or just love to hear one more time for memory’s sake.

I remember listening to American Top 40 as a kid and Kasem would blow me away with some of the stuff he knew. We’re talking about decades before the internet folks. Nowadays I’m challenged to find trivia and stories on an artist or song that isn’t on the internet and that ain’t easy! Kasem got it first-hand from the artists I’m sure and I have to believe he was reading every biography, auto-biography and magazine/newspaper article he could find on these artists.

But it wasn’t just his knowledge of the artists that made him so legendary. He was the triple threat. He had that great radio voice. We knew immediately who it was when you heard it. He also connected with listeners by delivering his “long-distance” dedications which touched not just the person who requested the dedication. We felt an emotional connection to just about every dedication whether it was going out to a long-lost love or for someone who was mourning the loss of a loved one.

I say a heart-felt "goodbye" and "thank you" to Casey Kasem as a fan and a broadcaster. You will be missed but not forgotten.


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