I spent much of my childhood hearing the voice of Casey Kasem. He was the voice of Shaggy on Scooby-Doo and the voice of longtime Bat-companion Robin on The Super-Friends. But he was most famous as the host of American Top 40 that long time staple of commercial radio. He brought the same smooth/creepy but nonetheless enthusiastic delivery to all his shows:
“Will Dexy’s Midnight Runners” take a midnight run to this week’s top spot? The answer [pause] when we return.”
“Here’s the 2 Live Crew with ‘Me So Horny'”
That era of multiple voice-overs and profanity-ridden radio bloopers may soon come to end if rumours that Kasem is about to be dumped in favour of Ryan Seacrest are true. Mind you, Kasem was briefly replaced by some guy named Shadoe Stevens in the 1990’s but returned a few years later.
I initially thought this was big news until I read further into the article where it’s mentioned that AT40 airs at 01:00 AM in New York. Come to think of it, I was barely even aware the show still existed.
Also, what is it with radio guys being so eager to change their names? Casey’s real name is Kemal Amin Kasem so I guess he was was worried when he started that there might be some prejudice in his career unless he picked a more “American” sounding name. Obviously, this is nothing new in entertainment but radio guys seem to be the anxious of the bunch to axe their identities when they start a broadcasting career. When I studied Broadcast Journalism, I interviewed a popular Chicago DJ named George McFly, who wasn’t much older than us but decided his Greek family name was too long for listeners to understand. They seem so eager to erase any ethnic identity and removing any regional inflections from their voices. Radio people really do think you’re an idiot. And what to make of a guy who named himself “Shadoe”?