Casey Kasem- His Head’s in the Stars

After 35 years of bringing a smile to children hearts as their ol’ buddy’, their ol’ pal Casey Kasem passed away on June 15th 2014.  At age 82 he left a legacy as Dog’s best friend, as well as everyone’s favorite Disc Jockey.  His voice was recognized by every one of all ages, and in his last days left on earth he was left unable to speak, as his cognitive abilities began to degrade. As his conditions worsened his children made sure to honor his wishes, and removed him from his life support.  It was sad death, and there was much unfortunate controversy between his children of his first marriage and his now widow.  His family and friends were given little to no access to the man who’s biggest joy was being surrounded by the people he loved.  This visitation battle took a toll on the family, as each visit his children had left them questioning if this was their last day with their father.  Having no ability to speak, and merely alive physically, with no cognitive capabilities, his children allowing him to pass early on June 15th was partially their last father’s day gift for their beloved dad.

During his life he was not merely a Disk Jockey, or voice to a childhood favorite, Shaggy, but he was also an Arab-American activist, and was not shy about his political agenda.  He wrote a brochure Arab Americans Making a Difference published by the Arab American Institution. He spoke out against the war in Iraq, telling People magazine in a 1990 article by Steve Dougherty , “I think there are too many cowboys there and in Washington who think the best way is to shoot from the hip. I don’t want to see our boys coming back in bags. And I don’t want to see Arabs die.”  In the article he admits as a child to having his own prejudice towards his Arabian community but suddenly as the death count rose, he found himself newly connected with his ethnic heritage.  He was suddenly able to see the negativity put on the Arab community in the media, as they were always portrayed as the villain, and as a child it was so common he never seemed to question this blatant discrimination.

So Kasem was not just another DJ.  In addition to American Top 40, and a plethora of other music countdowns, and radio shows Kasem was the voice children loved to listen to on Scooby Doo.  He was a dedicated father, seeing his children every weekend and talking to them every day when he was in good health, as his daughter explains in an interview on a CNN interview with Piers Morgan.  It is saddening to have one of America’s most prolific DJ’s pass, but with the work he was done his voice will continue to be heard well after his death.


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