“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”
That’s a phrase I had instilled in me from the time I was a child until I went to college. As much as my mother encouraged me to be all that I could be, I can’t give her credit for it. That was the trademark phrase made popular by disc jockey Casey Kasem, who turned 80-years-old Friday. Happy birthday, Casey.
While many may remember Kasem as the voice of Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” franchise, most of us know him from his weekly four-hour radio countdown, “American Top 40”. That show debuted on radio stations across the U.S.A. and the world on July 4, 1970.
He expanded to television hosting the spin-off “America’s Top 10”, the weekly hour-long music video show that counted down the top 10 songs in America from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1991-1992.
Take a moment to reminisce about times gone by with this flashback to the 1980s with Casey Kasem’s silky smooth voice. (However, you have to finish reading my story and listening to the second video — without kids around!)
That is the Casey Kasem that we all know and love.
However, production in television and radio doesn’t always go as produced.
And, when the same thing happens over and over and nothing gets done about it, then tempers can flare. Yes, I admit that I’ve gotten agitated and told people the way it is and the way it should be. Does it change anything? Usually not!
Back in 1985, in the recording session for that week’s countdown, Casey Kasem had enough when a re-occurring problem popped up again. And, let me warn you, it’s not pretty!! Warning: excessive use of adult language!!
Did Kasem go overboard? Maybe a little. However, working in the communications business that has a problem communicating, do I support this meltdown, damn right I do. I guarantee that the problem didn’t happen anytime after this episode.
I would love to listen to Casey Kasem counting down the hits again today. But, the current state of radio, in all genres, sucks, so it probably wouldn’t be that much fun.
However, I still try to live by Kasem’s signature close, “keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”