Casey Kasem’s family and close friends held a small private memorial 6/21 for Kasem. They heard his old radio shows, including AT40 where he introduced music from Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and the Bee Gees. The ceremony came a week after Kasem’s death in Gig Harbor, Washington, at 82.
Family representative Danny Deraney tells The Associated Press that about 100 family members, close friends and business associates gathered at the memorial at a church in the Bel Air neighborhood.
Kasem’s three children all spoke, and pop music arranger David Campbell played a violin version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns,” one of Kasem’s favorite songs.
The longtime host of American Top 40 which he started in 1970, was a familiar voice to millions, known for his signature closing advice: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Over the years, he hosted other versions of the music countdown show on radio and television. Kasem founded the franchise with Don Bustany, Tom Rounds and Ron Jacobs, and hosted it from 1970 to 1988 and from 1998 to 2004. Between January 1989 and early 1998, he was the host of Casey’s Top 40, Casey’s Hot 20, and Casey’s Countdown. Also beginning in 1998, Kasem hosted two AC spin-offs of American Top 40, American Top 20, and American Top 10. Kasem retired from AT20 and AT10 in 2009 and both shows ended on that day. Ryan Seacrest took over the franchise in 2004.