Monday, September 28, 2009

Popular Songs

When I was growing up, I listened to Casey Kasem on the weekend. Depending on the city you were in, depended when they ran the syndicated show. It was called something like American Top 40, and I think he counted down the top 40 hits, according to Billboard. Perhaps it was something else; I don't remember. The voice of Shaggy was the final word as to what song was popular on a given week.

He would tell the world of his mostly teenage audience not only which song occupied which spot, but how many spots certain songs climbed, as well as vignettes about some of the artists. I would pull for my favorite songs, listening to every word. Time just stood still during his program.

Well, I found the Billboard Top 100 today. And, holy crap, you can see who is in the top 100, as well as listen to most or all of the songs. For someone who is no longer cool (and cannot be trusted according to the hippies of the 60s), this is sort of interesting. I can't get into many of the songs of today, but it is an interesting diversion.

One interesting thing about Casey Kasem is that there was a rumor he was Islamic. Well, he is of Lebanese Druze heritage (which is too complicated for me to explain in my blog). It is generally considered an offshoot of Islam, but it has some interesting twists. I can remember some parents who were scared of Kasem, because they thought he was brainwashing American youth at a time where we were trying to repair relations between Israel and Egypt.


Deb said...

Interesting... I never knew that about him. I remember listening him while we were growing up too. "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the starts!"

Under the Influence said...

I was a huge Casey Kasem fan. I loved it when he would do dedications!

Malach the Merciless said...

I killed Casey Kasem, yes I did

LarryLilly said...

When I was a yuss, I never listened to AM, which is where that crap was heard.

I was into low band FM, where they played the entire B side of the album "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", the entire length "Light My Fire" Frank Zappas complete musicology and the all time classic dirt road drinking song The Fugs "Fu&Ning Machine". You cant hear that chit any more.

And I dont think it was on AM. In the NYC area, you had battles over the stuff from the Beatles where the "Cousin Brucie" blurb in falsetto would be pitched on the song every 20 seconds when payola was in use and stations were paying mulla to get the first run of songs in major markets a day before every one else, and they did that crap so other stations could record the song over the air and then play it back for their audience.

Knot said...

That was always one of my favorite radio shows on a Sunday afternoon.

Leesa said...

Deb: I loved his golden voice. It just calmed me.

Under: Yeah, dedications. "Will you please play (insert song title here) so (insert random name here) will always know (insert tear-jerking reason here).

Malach: Was it a murder of passion or a political statement?

Larry: I think it was on FM where we were, Sunday right after Church. Low band FM was where public radio was.

Knot: Yeah, me too.

Xmichra said...

I lived waaaaay up north (arctic circle we're talking) so we didn't get casey on our radios (just too far). But I had a friend who's dad built a horribly unattractive ham radio that I am pretty sure reached EVERYWHERE. We used to all get together (litterally about 70 teenagers) in their garage and listen in.

It makes me laugh when I see things about the 60's and how "isolated" they were with the radios and group informational sessions.... I mean that was the 80's and we were doing the very same things! lol..