Casey Kasem, who built a personal empire by way of his voice, which he lent to radio, voice over work, and on-camera hosting, died on Sunday at a hospital in Gig Harbor, WA, reports The New York Times. He was 82. The Detroit-born Kasem had long been suffering from Lewy body dementia.
From the voice of the scruffy kid friendly hippie Shaggy on Scooby Doo, who had more in common with his canine titular character — dumb, wide-eyed, and lucky — to his own long-running radio and television program America’s Top 40, in which he implored us to “keep our feet on the ground and to keep reaching for the stars” while regaling us with that current week’s top 40 pop songs on radio, Kasem had a sort of angular, trampoline style to his voice, an instantly tenfold recognizable aural patter. His vocal patterns almost in a way set the template for what a radio DJ styled host should be with his inflections and pauses in his speech patterns, and carved a niche in radio not seen since its early days of domination by luminaries of the medium like Jack Benny or Edward R. Murrow.
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