Casey Kasem's American Top 40 as a time machine

For '70s and '80s kids, the syndicated radio show American Top 40 was an iconic weekly ritual. Every weekend, disc jockey (and voice of Scooby-Doo's Shaggy) Casey Kasem would take three or four hours on the radio counting down the 40 biggest hits of the week according to Billboard, from #40 to #1 ("We won't stop until we reach the top"), along with some pop music trivia, corny stories and "long distance dedications."

Many of my friends around my age are amazed that there is a website that replays these programs 24/7. Most rationally assumed that the programs were never saved, lost to the ether. But they were saved, and I Heart Radio has a channel that continuously plays the shows from the 1970s and 1980s in seemingly random order: Classic American Top 40. Listening to it is like going back to a specific week 30-50 years ago in a time machine.

It's interesting that, especially in the '70s, Top 40 pop music included all kinds of genres. Rock music, R&B, novelty songs, easy listening, funk, and country music all had a seat at the table next to each other. In the very first AT40 episode, from July 4, 1970, the top 40 included The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Mountain, the Moody Blues, and the Carpenters. And Casey also played a Bill Cosby track and a Louis Armstrong track.

And if all that wasn't enough, at the end of each program, you'll get some timeless, sage advice from Casey. "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars."

Why not include a bunch of audio outtakes of Casey angrily cursing, including his famous "I want somebody to use his f*cking brain to not come out of an goddamn record that's uptempo, and I've got to talk about a f*cking dog dying!"

Snuggles, R.I.P.