Casey Kasem All Done 'Countin 'Em Down'

Casey Kasem, 77, is retiring from his countdown show. He became known to listeners with his show American Top 40, which was launched on July 4, 1970. Ryan Seacrest took over the show in 2004. Kasem went on to host two syndicated spinoffs, American Top 20 and American Top 10.

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(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified People: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six…

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Casey Kasem says he's done his final countdown. A couple of generations have grown up on his smooth baritone introducing the songs that top the nation's popular music charts. On Saturday, 39 years to the day that he launched American Top 40, he bid farewell to his audience and his signature signoff.

Mr. CASEY KASEM (Radio Host): I'm Casey Kasem. Now, one more time, the words I've ended my show with since 1970: Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.

MONTAGNE: And we're going to end our signoff with the song from Three Dog Night that was number one back when Casey Kasem began American Top 40.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Reaching for the coffee, I'm Renee Montagne.

(Soundbite of song, "Momma Told Me Not to Come")

THREE DOG NIGHT (Music Group): (Singing) Mama told me not to come, mama told me not to come, that ain't the way to have fun, no…

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