The death of Casey Kasem has had a lot of people remembering the good old American Top 40 countdown – just like many people, I listened to it, and waited patiently for the top songs to be announced. I loved that show. The passing of a radio icon has also had me thinking back to my own fascination with radio when I was a kid. I remember sitting in my room, recording my favorite songs on cassettes, laughing at my favorite DJs and desperately trying to be the correct caller to win whatever they were giving away. One station had their own countdown show, and when it was done, they’d ask for the zillionth caller to identify song number, oh, maybe 34 in the countdown, and you’d win something. I would faithfully sit by my radio and write down every single song (artists and title) in a spiral notebook and frantically dial the contest line, trying to be the right caller. Never won a dang thing, but I sure did get excited when someone answered the phone and said “Sorry, you’re caller 22….”. Sigh.
Growing up in Michigan, I listened to stations out of Detroit and Canada. In the 70s there were some incredible rock stations in Detroit and I loved them all. Another one of my favorites was CKLW, an AM Top 40 station out of Windsor, Ontario. Great personalities, silly parody songs, impressive guests, cool contests…..and I guess the passing of Casey Kasem has had me feeling nostalgic about that station in particular. I had to Google it, and much to my delight, I found all sorts of bits and pieces of audio from CKLW. I have played this piece a few times, just to hear those voices and relive a few memories….even if you didn’t listen to this particular station, I’m sure it will bring back memories for you too.