|Timeline of Key Dates in the History of American Top 40...|
01/01/1994, Shadoe Stevens counts down the top 100 of 1993...and "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors is #1.
1/2/82, Casey Kasem caps the Top 100 of 1981 with "Bette Davis Eyes" as the #1 song of the year.
01/03/76, The Top 100 of 1975 show has a surprise in the last hour...as "Some Kind Of Wonderful" by Grand Funk Railroad is #6 for 1975
1/4/75, the earliest regular AT40 countdown is heard, with "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by Elton John at #1.
1/5/74, "Time In A Bottle" by Jim Croce is honored as the third #1 posthumous hit. "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" (Otis Redding, 1968) and "Me And Bobby mcGee" (Janis Joplin, 1971) are the previous two.
1/6/79, Mark Elliott fills in for Casey Kasem...and he mistakenly plays "An Everlasting Love" instead of the real #9 song of the week, "Our Love (Don't Throw it All Away" by Andy Gibb. Actually, this was a mistake on the part of the engineer who put the show together.
1/6/73, "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon hits #1. It means Carly and then-hubby James Taylor are only the second married couple to have separate solo #1's. The first was Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
1/7/84, The so-called "Shuckatoom" era ends as the popular show theme song is aired for the last time. Ironically, Charlie Van Dyke filled in for Casey.
1/7/89, Shadoe Stevens' memorable Long Distance Dedication salute to his good radio friend, Brother John Rydgren. "Mr. Blue Sky" by the Electgric Light Orchestra was played.
1/8/72, "Brand New Key" by Melanie is #1...but the real story is how the entire 8:32 LP version of "American Pie" by Don McLean is played at #2.
1/9/82, The first real competing countdown for AT40--The Weeklly Top 30--airs its final show. Ironically, the final song at #1 that's played by host Mark Elliott is "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" by Hall and Oates.
1/9/93, AT40 changes charts, using Billboard's Mainstream chart and ditching the Top 40 radio monitor. Then-host Shadoe Stevens doesn't directly announce the change, but says it indirectly instead by saying in the show's opening, "Are you ready to dive into the musical mainstream?"
1/10/81, "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon is #1, but the best story ties in with "Hungry Heart" at #5. Casey tells how Bruce Springsteen and his dad feuded Mrs. Springsteen suggests they take a vacation trip to Tijuana. They do, and they take up a man's offer to be photographed with a zebra. In Mexico? Sure...when it's a donkey painted with black and white stripes! Bruce and his dad couldn't stop laughing over the whole thing...and they stopped feuding because of it.
1/12/74, "The Joker" is at #1...and Casey teases a story about Steve Miller that's never paid off or told.
1/29/82, Watermark is purchased by ABC..
01/21/89 CT40 ("Casey's Top 40") is born
01/28/95 What we thought was the last AT40 show ever was aired.
1/31/70, AT40 superfan Jeff Case is born.
01/31/76, the "Ten Years Ago" mistake show. In Hour One, Casey plays "Sounds Of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel, saying it was the #1 song of "exactly 10 years ago today." Then in Hour Two, Casey tells his favorite chart story about the Beatles' having all five of the top 5 songs...and plays "We Can Work It Out." And says it was the #1 song of 10 years ago? Wasn't anyone in the studio paying attention?
02/05/77, AT40 opens with "In The Mood" by the Henhouse Five Plus Too at #40. It's really Ray Stevens...and it's the only week in the Top 40 for the singing chickens.
02/06/71, a song earlier promoted via advertisements on AT40, "One Bad Apple" by the Osmonds, becomes the new #1 song.
02/07/46, author Rob Durkee is born.
02/10/90, Shadoe Stevens honors "Opposites Attract" by Paula Addul (and the Wild Pair) as the new #1 single...and the 1,000th #1 in history.
02/11/74, web site creator Scott Lakefield is born.
02/15/75, "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt is #1...and Casey tells the story about Tommy James ' battle against pep pills...and AT40 is almost sued over the story!
02/16/80, "Do That To Me One More Time" by the Captain And Tennille is #1...and Casey reads a followup letter to perhaps the most unique Long Distance Dedication. It's a followup letter from Barry Barringer, whose Long Distance Dedication in the form of an invitation to actress Cheryl Ladd to go to his prom was aired 10 months earlier. Cheryl couldn't make it...but was moved by the invitation and candy Barry sent him...to call him!
02/17/73, the first stereo AT40 show?
02/17/90, "Opposites Attract" is #1...and Donny Osmonds does a masterful job of filling in for Shadoe Stevens as AT40 host.
02/18/89, "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul is #1...and Shadoe had his first of many Flashback features, starting with a lookback at 1979. Web designer Scott Lakefield loved hearing it, noting how each song had a distinct hook from it heard in the Flashback montage.
02/21/81, "9 To 5" by Dolly Parton moves to #1...and halfway through the show, Casey Kasem plays "Shake, Rattle And Roll" to honor Bill Haley, who had recently died.
02/19/83, "Baby Come To Me" by Patti Austin and James Ingram is #1...and the show is highlighted by Casey Kasem's stirring tribute to Karen Carpenter, who died earlier that month. The song Casey played a drop-piece of...was the one thing many felt Karen could do better than any woman. "Sing."
02/22/86, Casey Kasem plays "Come Sail Away" as a Long Distance Dedication to the brave dedicated astronauts who died in the Challenger disaster.
02/24/73, the first stereo AT40 show?
02/24/79, the first AT40 show where the previous week's Top 3 is played.
02/26/72, "without You" by Nilsson is #1...while Melanie becomes only the second rock era solo woman with three simultaneous Top 40 hits with "The Nickel Song," "Ring The Living Bell" and "Brand New Key." The first such solo woman was Gale Storm, by the way.
3/6/82, "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band is #1...but the big story is told to tie in with #9, "Mirror Mirror" by Diana Ross. In 1964, Diana and her then-relatively-new group the Supremes wanted to sing an extra song at a concert. However, DJ Murray the K tells her, "No, you can't do an extra song until you're a movie star." Fifteen years later in 1979, Diana kiddingly whispers in Murray the K's ear, "NOW can I do the extra song?" It was a tribute to Murray the K, who had recently died.
3/7/98--"Casey's Top 40" officially dies. It's the last weekend the show is called that while David Perry fills in. For the next 2 weekends, the show is referred to as "The Top 40" while "Casey's Countdown" becomes "The Countdown" and "Casey's Hot 20" becomes "The Hot 20." Casey had left Westwood One to join AMFM bring back AT40...and W1 didn't know what to do.
03/09/85, "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon goes to #1...and in Hour Three, Casey pays tribute to Barbara Cowsill, the mother and leader of the family the group the Cowsills.
03/12/77 The chart changes are announced during the show's third hour.
3/23/85, "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon is #1...and Casey salutes Bumps Blackwell.
3/25/72, the only AT40 show hosted by Dick Clark.
3/26/83, "Billie Jean" is #1...and Casey pays tribute to LA DJ B. Mitchell Reid.
03/28/98 AT40 comes back from the dead. Casey brings back the show along with "American Top 20 AC" and "American Top 20 Hot AC" as he signs with the AM-FM network. By the end of the year 2000, Casey's with the Premiere Radio Networks and Clear Channel.
04/05/75 2nd Disappearing Act show...Joan Weber moves to #1.
04/08/72 The Manny Rosen story leads off the show to tie in with "King Heroin" by James Brown. It's the only time in AT40 history that the show is led off with a major human interest story to tie in with the record at #40.
04/23/55--AT40 expert Pete Battistini is born.
04/27/32 Casey Kasem born. 5/3/86, Rob Durkee is credited for catching the first time 3 differents acts with the same basic name (John Taylor) to make the top 40...and Casey gives a dramatic salute to the late Linda Creed, who'd died of cancer.
05/12/90, the first AT40 show tracked from Walt Disney World.
5/14/88, Irving Berlin is salute on his 100th birthday.
05/28/60, AT40 superfan Steve Orchard born.
06/06/36 Tom Rounds born.
06/09/94 Black Thursday, when virtually all of the AT40 staffers were told told they would be laid off by ABC.
6/15/85, the short-lived "American Top 40 Hall Of Fame" feature begins at the end of Hour 2 with a huge mistake. Elvis Presley is featured...but Casey mistakenly says that Graceland was named in honor of Elvis' mom, "Grace." Slight problem. Elvis' mom was named Gladys.
6/24/89--Debbie Gibson, known today as Deborah Gibson, fills in for Shadoe Stevens and becomes the youngest substitute host in the history of "American Top 40."
6/25/77, "Got To Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye is #1...and for the first time, Casey adds these words to his signoff slogan.."and keep your radio tuned right where it is."
6/29/74, AT40 is counted down via a chart guessed by the AT40 staff...and "LaGrange" by ZZ Top is played even though it never really made the 40.
June 29, 2002--Casey repeats himself in what turns out to be a bad editing mistake on a tease. In teasing the breakthrough hit at #23 by Paulina Rubio, Casey says, "Coming up, the song 'Don't Say Goodbye.' It's by a singer who understands stardom very well. Her mother....it's by a singer who understands stardom well. Her mother is one of the biggest film stars in Mexico."
July 3, 1971, "Indian Reservation" by the Raiders is #2...and Casey tells the infamous story by the song's writer. John D. Loudermilk had told an AT40 researcher his claim that the song was written after he was captured and tortured by Indians. Loudermilk also claimed he was released by the Tribe after promising he'd write a song about the Indians' plight. Casey would tell this story three more times...but it was a hoax. Loudermilk made up the story after he became upset about the AT40 staffer calling him up too late late at night.
07/04/70 First AT40 show.
07/07/73 1st Disappearing Acts show.
07/08/79 Townsend Coleman show.
07/09/94 Last AT40 show in USA
7/11/92--The "Is Anybody Awake?" show. Shadoe's talking about a benefit album to tie in with George Michael's hit at #6, "Too Funky." He says..."There were tracks by U2, Neneh Cherry, Sinead O' Connor and a whole lot of other stars, and they raised more than 4 million dollars for AIDS charities. Well, now there's a follow-up called Red Hot & Dance." And in case you didn't get all that, that segment is REPEATED!!! You get the impression that the acts mentioned and the money made applies to the followup LP, but that's not the case. POOR EDITING!
07/14/62--AT40 superfan Larry Cohen born.
7/18/87, Charlie Van Dyke fills in for the second straight week because Casey's sick. And CVD gives a stirring tribute to Jackie Gleason
07/20/74 The tease that was never followed up
August 4, 2006--XM Radio starts a weekend of continuous "American Top 40" shows on its 70's and 80's channels. The marathon begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time with the July 25, 1970 show on the 70's channel and the November 1, 1980 show on the 80's channel.
Here is a partial list of the shows aired that weekend as compiled by AT40 fan Alfred Guray...
XM AT40 Marathon on 70s & 80s Chronological Rundown & Scorecard:
* No Data Display
** Technical Glitches by XM
70s Channel Chronological Airing Rundown:
1) 7-25-70 (7-18-70 airdate)
8) 8-29-70 (8-22-70 airdate) *
9) 12-1-73 *
10) 4-14-79 **
12) 1-15-72 **
13) 3-5-77 (the 1st repeat) ** (possibly the wackiest airing ever as it was played on random with a little bit of 1-15-72, a belated April fools joke! I loved it, though! Reminds me of how my local radio affiliate played AT40 out of sequence!)
17) 7-28-79 ** (partially skipped a portion of 2nd hour...missing #33-#21)
19) 8-4-73 (the 2nd repeat)
20) 1-5-80 Top 50 of The 70's Decade
1970 - 3
1971 - 3
80s Channel Chronological Airing Rundown:
7) 8-14-82 **
14) 4-9-88 ** (started at random play....#31-40 played backward then jumped back down to #25 then back up again to #33 ; #24 onward was aired correctly)
1980 - 2
(Alfred closed by saying...) Thanks for everyone's help in updating this list!
8/5/72: National Album Countdown. Casey counted down the top 40 albums for the week at the same time mentioning the Top 40 singles.