Radio legend Casey Kasem died this weekend after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Kasem was 82. In many ways he was the original Ryan Seacrest. The idea of a Top 40 countdown was alien before Kasem turned the format into an International phenomenon. Here is how CNN.com described his rise to radio icon.
Kasem was already a popular disc jockey in Los Angeles when he became the host of “American Top 40″ in 1970. The syndicated show, which counted down the 40 most popular songs in the United States based on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 music chart, began on just seven radio stations but quickly became a mainstay of thousands, all around the world.
Kasem appeared on Television all through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but one of his most memorable appearances was on an episode of Saved by the Bell. Kasem guest starred as himself on a special episode that ended with a dance called “the sprain”. Screech invented the dance move for Lisa when she was forced to use crutches after spraining her ankle. Check out the video below.
Kasem changed the radio landscape, and allowed DJs to step out from behind the microphones and become Hollywood stars.