Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, Coast to Coast!

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This is fun! Tam Warner Minton of Dallas has had a rebirth of sorts … a rebirth of the music on which we baby boomers grew up. So, ladies and gentlemen of our generation, here is Casey Kasem’s American Top 40, Coast to Coast!

A few weeks ago my husband and I were making the five-hour drive from San Antonio to Dallas when we had an amazing boomer memory fest. For some reason, (probably the recent scandals regarding Casey Kasem’s illness and death), the radio was playing Casey Kasem’s Countdown, Coast to Coast, Top 40, from June 3, 1972. I was in 7th grade in 1972, my husband, Randy, a sophomore in high school.

The iconic voice of rock music, Casey Kasem.

The iconic voice of rock music, Casey Kasem.

June 3, 1972!!! Talk about a flashback! Boomers know Casey Kasem very well, because we tuned into the radio every Sunday to hear the Top 40 songs in the nation. Casey gave us background information on the artists, and he let us know which songs were new on the top 40, and whether they had gone up or down the list. He had a very distinctive voice, one that we all could identify as Casey Kasem’s.

Now, you want to talk about classic rock and roll, 70s style? From the ridiculous (Long Haired Lover from Liverpool (#39) by Little Jimmy Osmond) to the sublime (Old Man (#31) by Neil Young) to the crazy one-hit-wonders (Hot Rod Lincoln at #9 by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen…what the hell?), it was a fantastically entertaining ride home as we sang along to the rock and pop of our childhood and teen years. Let me give you an idea of the kind of music being made in the early 1970s!!! These artists, also on the Top 40 during ONE WEEK in 1972 will knock your socks off:

Tam Warner Minton

Tam Warner Minton

Vincent by Don McLean at #38. Oh, I absolutely loved that song, and loved that it was about Vincent Van Gogh, who committed suicide. It brought tears to my 13-year-old eyes!

Living in a House Divided by Cher at #37. She recorded it right after she and Sonny broke up, remember? We were all so broken-hearted that the show was over!

Doctor my Eyes by Jackson Browne at #36. Talk about an awesome song! I always think it was his second best, after the roadie song, Stay ….

Hey, it was 1972, the year of The Godfather, best movie of the year. At number #3 we had Andy Williams singing the Theme from the Godfather, Speak Softly Love. Randy didn’t remember it had words, but I sang them right through to the end! Lean on Me by Bill Withers #26, and Taxi by Harry Chapin at #24! I had forgotten about Taxi, but I’ve downloaded it on iTunes now along with most of the other songs. Oh, and at #23 Amazing Grace by The Pipes & Drums & The Military Band Of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. No, I’m not kidding.

Roberta Flack recorded "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," considered the love song of the 1970s.

Roberta Flack recorded “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” considered the love song of the 1970s.

Elton John’s Rocket Man was at #32; Paul Simon’s Me and Julio at #22; Diary at #16 by Bread (remember Bread???); the Carpenters, the Jackson Five, Song Sung Blue #12 by Neil Diamond; #11 was Last Night by the Fifth Dimension! Remember Aquarius by the Fifth Dimension? Their lead female singer had a tremendous voice. I LOVED her voice. Cat Stevens, the Rolling Stones, and at #4 The Candy Man by Sammy Davis Jr!!! At #3, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Roberta Flack, #2 Oh Girl by The Chi-Lites and … at #1 I’ll Take You There by The Staple Singers! Quite a list of artists … almost every song remembered (some reluctantly!), and flashback memories of midwestern days of sunshine, cornfields, and piles of colorful leaves. Body shirts, bell bottom jeans, and blue eyeshadow. First dances, first parties, spin the bottle, and first kisses.

Thank you, Casey Kasem. Every week you played the background music of my childhood… right up to my adulthood. It was a gift to hear that wonderful voice again. Okay… so tell me, fellow boomers, you remember these songs? Can you believe they were on the Top 40 at the same time? What memories come to your mind?

12 Comments

  1. I’m so happy that it’s 2014 — because I can be reasonably sure that when I turn on the car radio, I won’t have to hear “Doctor My Eyes.” I’ll take “Happy” any day! Thanks for a fun trip down memory lane.

  2. I am not quite a boomer. my elder siblings are the tail end. and while I was very young when some of these songs came around, I do remember them and there was music playing all the time in our house. So strains of them ran though my head as I was reading this. A very cool experience. thanks

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