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Top 40 Countdowns And Shows Trading Site

American Top 40, Casey Kasem, Rick Dees Countdowns, More

Site dedicated to countdown shows from 1970-2016

Last Site Update 2017-01-02

Interested in trading please contact me

Looking for High Quality AT40 shows Premiere from 1970-88, only high quality please

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Links to all shows Below

American Top 40 1970-1979

American Top 40 1980-1989

American Top 40 – 1998-2004 (CHR)

American Top 20 1998-2004 (AC)

American Top 20 1998-2009 (HAC)

American Top 40 – 2001-2002 – AT40 Flashback

American Top 40 – 2004-2016 – Ryan Seacrest – (CHR)

American Top 40 – 2004-2016 – Ryan Seacrest – (HAC)

Casey’s Top 40 1989-98

Casey’s Hot 20 1994-1998 (HAC)

Casey’s Countdown 1992-98 (AC)

American Country Countdown 1973-201x

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1984-1989 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1990-1999 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2000-2009 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2010-201x – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1994-1999 – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2000-2009 – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2010-201x – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 20/30 – 2009-201x – (AC)

American Music Magazine 1985-1989

Rick Dees On The Line 1989-1990

Countdown America With John Leader/Dick Clark 1983-1994

Countdown USA With John Leader/Dave Sholin 1986-1990

Dick Bartley’s Classic Countdown

Dick Bartley’s American Gold

Dick Bartley’s Rock & Rolls Greatest Hits

Dick Bartley’s Solid Gold Saturday Night

Dick Clark’s National Music Survey 1981-1988 – US Music Survey 1996-2005

Dick Clarks’ Rock, Roll, and Remember

Dick Clark’s Misc Programs

Cannon’s Countdown With Nick Cannon 2010-2011

National Countdown Show With Al Gross – 2007-2013

Backtrax USA The 80’s (1992-201x)/The 90’s (2003-201x) With Kid Kelly

Weekly Top 30 With Mark Elliot (1979-1982) – Weekly Music Magazine (1982)

Hollywood Hamiliton’s Weekend Top 30/Remix Top 30 (2009-201x)

LA Lloyd’s Rock Countdown (2011-201x)

Billy Bush Weekend Countdown – MTV Weekend Countdown – Sirius Hits 1 Weekend Countdown With Spyder Harrison

Big Tigger Live In The Den 2003-2013

Relics & Rarities With Dave The Rave 2011-2016

Robert W Morgan Specials 1975-1985

OPUS Year End Countdowns 1970-1981

SuperGold With Mike Harvey 1982-2016

Tour Bus – Ralph Sutton 2014-2015

Totally Awesome 80’s With Kent Jones

Dr. Demento 1971-2016

Countdown Shows Misc-One-Offs

Non-Countdown Shows Misc-One-Offs

Non-Countdown Shows Misc-One-Offs II

Alan Freed’s Camel Rock ‘N’ Roll Dance Party

Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 2006-201x

Bill Drake’s History of Rock and Roll – 1978, 1981, 1982, 2016

BBC Radio 2 Pick of the Pops-Official UK Top 40

Lost Lennon Tapes 1988-1992

Wolfman Jack’s Automation Reels 1977-78 – Wolfman Jack Syndicated 1978-1995

American Jukebox-America’s Greatest Hits Worldwide

Radio Specials

Dan Ingram Satellite Survey 1984-1986

Leeza Gibbons’ Programs – Top 25-Hollywood Confidential Hot AC

Lost 45’s With Barry Scott

Scott Shannon’s Rockin’ America-Scott Shannon America’s Greatest Hits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured post

Dick Clark’s Music And Chart Shows

Dick Clark’s National Music Survey 1981-1988 – US Music Survey 1996-2005

Dick Clarks’ Rock, Roll, and Remember

Dick Clark’s Misc Programs

Clark’s first love was radio, and in 1963 he began hosting a radio program called The Dick Clark Radio Show. It was produced by Mars Broadcasting of Stamford. Despite Clark’s enormous popularity on American Bandstand, the show was only picked up by a few dozen stations and lasted less than a year.
His ABC radio show was called “Dick Clark Reports”.
On March 25, 1972, Clark hosted American Top 40, filling in for Casey Kasem. In 1981, he created The Dick Clark National Music Survey for the Mutual Broadcasting System. The program counted down the top 30 contemporary hits of the week in direct competition with American Top 40. Clark left Mutual in 1986, and Charlie Tuna took over the National Music Survey. Clark then launched his own radio syndication group with partners Nick Verbitsky and Ed Salamon called the United Stations Radio Network. That company later merged with the Transtar Network to become Unistar, and took over the countdown program Countdown America. The program ran until 1994, when Unistar was sold to Westwood One Radio. The following year, Clark and Verbitsky started over with a new version of the USRN, bringing into the fold ”Dick Clark’s Rock, Roll & Remember”, written and produced by Pam Miller (who also came up with the line used in the show and later around the world: “the soundtrack of our lives”), and a new countdown show: The U.S. Music Survey, produced by Jim Zoller. Clark served as its host until his 2004 stroke. United Stations Radio Networks continues in operation as of 2013.

Dick Clark’s longest running radio show began on February 14, 1982. Rock, Roll & Remember was a four-hour oldies show named after Clark’s 1976 autobiography. The first year, it was hosted by veteran Los Angeles disc jockey Gene Weed. Then in 1983, voiceover talent Mark Elliot co-hosted with Clark. By 1985, Clark hosted the entire show. Pam Miller wrote the program and Frank Furino served as producer. Each week, Clark would profile a different artist from the rock and roll era and count down the top four songs that week from a certain year in the 1950s, 1960s or early 1970s. The show ended production when Clark suffered his 2004 stroke. However, reruns from the 1995-2004 era continue to air in syndication and on Clark’s website, dickclarkonline.com.

Beginning in 2009, Clark merged elements of Rock, Roll and Remember with the syndicated oldies show, Rewind with Gary Bryan. The new show was called Dick Clark Presents Rewind with Gary Bryan. Bryan, a Los Angeles radio personality, serves as the main host. Clark contributed profile segments.

Dick Bartley’s Programs

Dick Bartley’s Classic Countdown

Dick Bartley’s American Gold

Dick Bartley’s Rock & Rolls Greatest Hits

Dick Bartley’s Solid Gold Saturday Night

Dick Bartley, a popular American radio disc jockey since 21 June 1969, hosts several popular syndicated radio shows of the oldies/classic hits genre, including the current Classic Countdown since 1991 and the Saturday night call-in request show Rock & Roll’s Greatest Hits since 1982.

Both shows are currently syndicated through United Stations Radio Networks; they were previously carried by ABC Radio Networks from 1991 to 2009, and by Westwood One in the 1980s. Bartley has licensed his name for the “Dick Bartley Presents Collector’s Essentials on the Radio” album series; compilations of radio favorites by specific era and genre Bartley’s programs use historic data from the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts.

Bartley got his start at age 17 playing “Bad Moon Rising” on radio station WWOD.[4] WWOD, which hadn’t been used for years, was finally razed and is now covered with grass on Mimosa Drive in Lynchburg.

Programs

All programs are four hours in length and play classic hits and oldies from the 1970s and 1980s. Much in the same way the oldies and classic hits formats in general have done, both programs have gradually shifted in their focus since their debuts; for instance, Rock & Roll’s Greatest Hits, when it debuted in 1982 as “Solid Gold Saturday Night”, had a playlist composed of titles almost entirely from the late 1950s through the late 1960s, mirroring the oldies format at the time. The focus of each show is different:

Classic Countdown

The Classic Countdown is a syndicated weekly, four-hour, hit-packed, oldies countdown program which was written, produced and hosted by Radio Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Dick Bartley. It is flagshipped at WCBS-FM in New York City and is syndicated across the country by United Stations Radio Networks and internationally via Radio Express.

Twenty featured songs from a particular month — alternating between 1970s and 1980s from week to week — are featured and played countdown-style, from No. 20 to No. 1. The Billboard Hot 100 chart is the standard for this ranking.

History

As American Gold

Though Bartley had hosted national radio shows since 1982, it was not until June 8, 1991, that he launched a countdown show. It was originally named American Gold. The concept of American Gold was loosely based upon the formats of other ABC shows, American Top 40 and American Country Countdown, except charts from a particular month or week from years’ past were used. Differences between American Gold and the Classic Countdown were as follows:

One part of the show focused on the hits of a particular three-month time span (e.g., fall of 1965 or winter of 1969-1970), while the other focused on an artist or band, stylistic trend or other theme, with their featured songs focusing generally from the era the oldies format in general came from. (For instance, if the Bee Gees were the spotlight artist on an early 1990s American Gold show, it was likely their late-1960s and early-1970s hit recordings were played rather than songs from the disco/Saturday Night Fever-phase of their career (as the late 1970s was not considered part of the oldies format at the time), whereas an artist spotlight on the brothers Gibb from late in the run would emphasize their late-1970s disco output, in addition to their earlier material.)

Like the current Classic Countdown, the show’s playlist focused on the oldies format’s focus of the time — to mean, late 1950s through early 1970s with an emphasis on the 1960s during the early years, before drifting to the 1964-late 1970s era during the 2000s, with scattered 1980s titles by the late in the run.

Prior to about 2007, “The Quiz Man” call-in contest allowed listeners to win prizes by answering a trivia question or identifying a one-hit wonder song. This feature did not carry over to the Classic Countdown.
Bartley announced his departure from ABC effective March 31, 2009. His last American Gold show, a 1975 Yearbook, was released to stations March 28, and relaunched the weekend of April 1 by the United Stations Radio Networks under its current name. ABC likely still holds rights to the “American Gold” name, which originates with ABC’s former subsidiary Watermark Inc..

Countdown America, Countdown USA

Countdown America, Countdown USA

Countdown America With John Leader/Dick Clark 1983-1994

Countdown USA With John Leader/Dave Sholin 1986-1990

Countdown America, Countdown USA and Dick Clark’s connection to American Top 40 CHR/Pop rivals during the period of 1983 to 1990.

Before we go into Countdown America’s amazing history, we need to go back to 1981.
Dick Clark started his own national music countdown on May 30 featuring the Top 30 songs of the week based on Cashbox magazine.
Keep this in mind, as he will later play a role in Countdown America.

Although I don’t have the very first Countdown America with John Leader, it’s a safe bet to say that the very first show began on January 8, 1983 based upon that December letter by James Kefford.
The earliest show I have dates February 26, 1983. It was a three-hour with the Top 30 based upon Radio & Records chart, which was a departure from Weekly Top 30/Weekly Music Magazine self-produced chart.

Until March 12, 1983, Countdown America was the only CHR/Pop show using the Radio & Records charts.
Then, after 93 weeks, Dick Clark National Survey drops Cashbox for R&R. Thus, we now have two Top 30 shows with the same song rankings.
Supposedly, this is the year that Rick Dees debuts his national Weekly Top 40 show. I say supposedly because no collector has ever produced a 1983 show.

Was it just a local show with national rankings in 1983? For now, we don’t know.
The earliest show that I found was January 13, 1984 on vinyl. I bring this up only because Rick Dees used the Cashbox charts in 1984 shows.

Could have this been the reason for the chart change by Dick Clark?

I can’t this answer question. However, in 2012 Rick Dees said (in an interview) that Dick Clark approached him about buying his Weekly Top 40 show, so they could both “make money”. As of this writing, I haven’t heard from Rick on this topic.

Countdown America was stable until December 24, 1983 when the first four-hour was produced as a part of the Year-End countdown: Top 83 of ’83.
I will say that the song medley production was outstanding.

1984…This was not only an important year for Countdown America as it switched to the four-hour format.

Also, Dick Clark added an AC show to his Dick Clark National Music Survey offerings.
The exact date, I don’t know, as the earliest one I have is September 8. The cue sheets do not help determine the beginning of Clark’s AC show.
However, later on this will play a role with Countdown America.

I will add that 1984 also saw the debut of another CHR/Pop countdown, Dan Ingram’s Top 40 Satellite Survey. This show lasted 141 weeks ending December 26-28, 1986.
I have found the #8 show dated June 8-10, 1984, so we can safely assume the debut date based upon that show.
I also found December 13, 1986 with guest host Bob Shannon with cue sheets that state end date of the show.
This was a three-hour Top 40 show with a self-produced chart. Thus, it is an incredible chart study if you can find these shows. I have run across about 10 shows so far.

1984 ends with John Leader & Rick Dees doing the Top 84 of ’84 during the last week of the year and the first week of 1985; while Dick Clark does the Top 30 CHR & AC songs, the first week of the 1985.

1985 featured more upheaval in the countdown world. After 231 weeks, the Dick Clark’s National Music Survey became the National Music Survey.
Dick Clark went on to replace John Leader as the host of Countdown America, thus the new name Countdown America with Dick Clark.
The last show of Countdown America with John Leader that I have is October 12, 1985, so I don’t know how John handled the ending during the show or the promos used with Dick Clark as the new host.
I do know this much…Dick Clark was the host of Countdown America on November 2, 1985 based upon the December 7 show that called it show #6.

Dick Clark made no mention of leaving the National Music Survey on his last show October 26, 1985 on either the CHR/Pop or AC version.
However, the promos mentioned a Special Super Song countdown coming next week with Bill St. James & Mike Love of the Beach Boys.
They made two versions of the special countdown CHR/Pop & AC featuring the Top 30 songs of the past 10 years (1975-85).
Here’s where it became interesting; they also included a list of the Top 100 songs of the past 10 years. This is where stations wanting a “bigger countdown” could produce their own countdown show. Not sure if there were any takers…as no collector has come forward with a local station air-check.

Bill St. James & Mike Love continued to produce two versions of the show until at least March 15, 1986 as that is my last copy of a CHR show.
My guess is that sometime between March 22 and April 26 that the National Music Survey became just an AC show.
So far, I know that Charlie Tuna, then Bill Meyer with Sylvia Emerita hosted the National Music Survey when Bill St. James left.
More details will come out as the search for these shows continue. The show lasted somewhere between 400-500 weeks counting Dick Clark’s 1981 debut.

Countdown America is now in the hands of Dick Clark. First change, no two part year-end show with song medley production, instead, Clark opts for Top 40 of 1985 on January 4, 1986
.Meanwhile, two new Pop countdowns debut while Countdown America and National Music Survey go through changes in 1985.

Scott Shannon’s Rockin’ America The Top 30 Countdown used the R&R chart as its foundation for the three hour show.
The actual start and end of this is unknown at this point. The earliest copy I have is 3-9-85. The show did go through a name and chart change in 1991.
The actual date is unknown my best guess would the first week of 1991. The show became Scott Shannon’s Rockin’ America All-Request Top 30 Countdown meaning no more use of R&R charts.

On The Radio provided an interesting twist for programmers. Hosted by the late Ron O’Brien, it was only one hour long. Many stations used it as a supplement to AT40, Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 and Countdown America to complete a five-hour block of time. It featured the Top 5 songs of the week with lots of interviews and an amazing closing credit feature. I have been able to locate shows between 2-1-85 and 12-28-91. I’m not sure on this show’s start or end date and what happened after 1991 with new host or adding versions.

Dick Clark made even more changes to Countdown America in 1986. He dropped the CHR/Pop Top 40 songs of the week for the Top 30 AC songs on July 5.
I don’t know how Clark handled the dropping of the CHR/Pop. If someone has the 6-28-86 show, they probably know from the cue sheets, promos or actual show.
Countdown America with Dick Clark would eventually become a three-hour show and go down to Top 20 AC songs. At some point between 1-14-94 and 4-5-96,
the show changed its name from Countdown America with Dick Clark to Dick Clark’s U.S. Music Survey.
He would continue to host this show until he suffered his stroke. The show had guest hosts for a year or two until the show finally went dark.

Countdown USA

With Dick Clark no longer doing a CHR/Pop show, John Leader made his return to the countdown market.
Being that Clark used the Countdown America name, he revived his countdown hosting duties by creating Countdown U.S.A. with John Leader on January 11, 1986.
I don’t know how the first show sounded, as the earliest available copy I have is 1-18-86 with spotlight artist as Night Ranger.

This also marked the return of the song medley with the year-end Top 86 of ’86. It also marked the end of John Leader’s countdown career with this year-end show.

The promos on 1-3-87 show were done by Dave Sholin; thus marking the beginning of his countdown the following week as Countdown U.S.A. with Dave Sholin.

Countdown U.S.A. with Dave Sholin lasted until 1990. I believe April 21.

 

Show Reviews

American Top 40 1970-2016

OUTSTANDING quality! A+! Looking forward to many trades for years to come🙂

One thought on “American Top 40 1970-2016”

  1. My AT40 collection is growing from being a hodge-podge assortment of varying bitrates and quality into a high quality, excellent sounding archive of the golden years of radio and countdown shows. If you enjoy listening to these old countdowns, you’ll enjoy even more listening to these improved quality shows.

 

Dan

July 17, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Outstanding quality! I have some shows that have been cleaned and they are crystal clear. Even if you already own them I highly suggest you get a new copy here. You won’t believe your ears. Casey never sounded so good!!

 

corejaz

5 months ago

Wanna say a BIG thank you for these top grade files of AT40. Audio is mint. 🙂

 

AT40Guy

6 months ago

 

I am currently listening to August 7, 1971 and the quality is better than I imagined. I feel like Casey is in my living room.

 

RocketManFan

6 months ago

I really tried to listen to a lot of Christmas music this year, but the quality of your countdowns is so spectacular, I just couldn’t stop listening to those.

Clean and Mastering Process

Clean – Mastering Process

Each show runs thru 4 phases to being remastered

Phase 1Clean 1st round
each segment is converted to 48Khz, 32-bit RAW Wave file

2 to 3 hours per show

Pop-Click removal – settings super quality, slow
Crackle removal – settings super quality, slow
Pop-Click removal 2nd time – settings super quality, slow

Phase 2Clean 2nd round

2 to 3 hours per show

Noise removal
Hiss/Rumble/Hum/Vinyl defects
each segment is run thru 6 noise filters to remove all issues

Phase 3Level/Skips and audio issues

1 hour per show

All segments are the merged together and made sure Level/Nomalize
are equal

this is than saved to both a raw wave file and MP3 format for archival

Phase 4Mastering

1 hour per show

show is than mastered to add dynamics, depth, clartity or whatever is needed
and exported to 320k MP3. id3 tagged

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1984-1989 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1990-1999 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2000-2009 – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2010-201x – (CHR)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 1994-1999 – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2000-2009 – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 – 2010-201x – (HAC)

Rick Dees Weekly Top 20/30 – 2009-201x – (AC)

American Music Magazine 1985-1989

Rick Dees On The Line 1989-1990

Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 (sometimes known as The Weekly Top 40) is an internationally syndicated radio program created and hosted by American radio personality Rick Dees. It is currently heard on over 200 radio stations worldwide. It is distributed domestically by Compass Media Networks and internationally by Radio Express. It is also heard on Dees’ official website.

The Weekly Top 40 countdown is available in two versions: Hit Radio (for Top 40 stations), and Hot Adult (for Hot AC stations). A version for AC stations called Weekly Top 30 debuted in July 2009; it has since been cut to 20 songs.

History

The Weekly Top 40 debuted in September 1983, after Rick’s then-station, KIIS-FM, lost American Top 40 to a rival station, KIQQ (now KSWD) over the playing of network commercials.[1] (Ironically, KIIS-FM would again carry AT40 in 1988, after Shadoe Stevens took over as host.)[2] Initially syndicated by United Stations, the show was initially heard on ten stations, but would expand to 40 by the end of 1983.

Part of the Weekly Top 40’s appeal in the ’80s – and how it differentiated itself from the more sober AT40 – was Rick’s colorful, signature use of goofy sound effects and comedy voices, often at the end of each segment before commercial breaks. The voice impressions were by Rick and his wife Julie (a talented voice actor) as well as other mimics, and included characters imported from Rick’s popular morning show on KIIS-FM. Characters heard on the Weekly Top 40 through the ’80s and beyond included “talent booking agent” Bernie Shelley of “Possessive Artists” and his ditzy receptionist; countdown “technician” and wino Willard Wiseman; snide gossip columnist Groanin’ Barrett; snappy workout guru Jane Fondle with her Radio Aerobics; call-in airhead John Revolting; salivating agony aunt “Crabby”; tittering sex therapist Dr. Rude (a spoof of popular radio and TV sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer); and “Joan’s Clone”, a take-off of comedian Joan Rivers.

Other comedy routines were “Outrageous!” Facts (inspired by Lionel Richie’s reaction to Prince at the 1985 American Music Awards) and “News of the Offbeat”, a punchline gag introduced by Rick quoting from bizarre supermarket tabloid stories. Dees Sleaze, a jokey recycling of an item of Hollywood gossip, was often accompanied by the lisping voice of Rick’s “boss” at the radio station.

In the ’80s the countdown would open with John Williams’ Superman Theme and Dees reciting an alternative version of the classic Adventures of Superman opening narration: “…and who, disguised as Rick Dees, mild-mannered disc jockey, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the pursuit of loose women.” By 1988 the show’s IDs included voice impressions of former hit songs (early examples were Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors, Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel, George Michael’s Faith, and Need You Tonight by INXS). Other commonly heard sound effects were Little Richard’s throaty belly laugh, Michael Jackson’s falsetto squeal, James Brown’s lines “Believe me that’s bad” and “I feel good”, and the Joan’s Clone exclamations “Yuck!” and “She’s a tramp!!”.

A contest (the Weekly Top 40 Challenge) and a pre-recorded interview (“special in-studio guest”) were other enduring features that helped give Rick’s show a younger more contemporary sound when compared to American Top 40. By 1985, the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 could be heard on radio stations around the world as far away as New Zealand.

After ABC Radio Networks pulled AT40 from American stations in July 1994, it picked up the Weekly Top 40 for national syndication.

In January 2000, Weekly Top 40 would move to Premiere Radio Networks (ironically, the same company that owned AT40) until 2005, when Dees left KIIS-FM and its owner Clear Channel Communications, which owned Premiere (Dees had apparently been passed over as Casey Kasem’s successor at AT40 in favor of current host Ryan Seacrest, which may have played a role in his departure).

The Weekly Top 40 moved its distribution over to Dial Global from 2005 to 2008. It has been streamed on Dees’ official website since 2006.

In January 2009, Dees and the Weekly Top 40 returned to ABC Radio, which has since been acquired by Citadel Broadcasting, with ABC Radio’s programming division renamed as Citadel Media.[3]

Reruns of the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 from the 1980s began airing on the TKO Radio Network in 2010 after a trial run on WQMA in Mississippi. A few stations under the “Gen X” moniker air old ’90s’ versions of the countdown starting in summer of 2010. Recently the AC version of the countdown was shortened to the Weekly Top 20.

On February 1, 2011, it was announced that the Weekly Top 40 franchise switched syndication to the Westwood One radio network (former syndicator for Casey’s Top 40), returning to Dial Global after the latter merged in October 2011. The new syndication deal included additional programming in the franchise, including “The Daily Dees”, “Rick Dees 80s and 8”, “Rick Dees 90s at 90”, repeats of past editions of “Weekly Top 40”, and the “Teen Top 20 with Kevin Dees”.[4]

American Top 10/20 AC/HAC 1998-2004

American Top 20 1998-2004 (AC)

American Top 20 AC 1998-2004

Started On 1998-03-28, Changed To American Top 10 On 2004-03-20

American Top 20 1998-2009 (HAC)

American Top 20 HAC 1998-2009

Started on 1998-03-28, Changed to American Top 20 AC on 2004-03-20

American Top 10 2004-2009 (AC)

American Top 10 2004-2009

Started on 2004-03-20

Adult Contemporary countdowns (AT20 and AT10)[edit]

Beginning in the early 1990s, Casey Kasem also hosted two other shows counting down the top adult contemporary hits of the week. These moved with him after he left Westwood One and Kasem kept doing them after he handed AT40 over to Ryan Seacrest in early 2004.

Kasem’s countdown for Mainstream and Soft Adult Contemporary radio stations debuted in 1992 under the name Casey’s Countdown. Originally Casey’s Countdown consisted of 25 songs, but in 1994 it was shortened to 20. With the revival of the AT40 brand name, the AC chart became American Top 20. In March 2004, the Mainstream AC edition was shortened again, this time from twenty to ten songs, and became known as American Top 10.

Another show for hot adult contemporary radio stations debuted in November 1994, since the Hot AC or “Adult Top 40” format was rapidly growing in popularity at the time. The original name of the show was Casey’s Hot 20. Like its sister Mainstream AC show, it, too, was renamed American Top 20 once AT40 was relaunched (resulting in two different shows being entitled American Top 20).

The AC shows were three hours in length and included many AT40 staple features, including chart “extras” and Long Distance Dedications (known as “Requests and Dedications” during the Westwood One years), as well as spotlight features on number one hits of each chart week from years past. AT10 continued to feature Long Distance Dedications, and some additional features that were staples on the original AT40 were re-added to both shows during Casey’s final years, including the “Book of Records” and “Whatever Happened To…?” AT10 also featured additional chart extras under the banner of “AT10 Spotlight,” built around a particular theme (the theme for the first week of the revamped AT10 in 2004 was “Band Members Gone Solo”).

As with the Top 40 show, both Casey’s Countdown/AT20/10 AC and Casey’s Hot 20/AT20 Hot AC initially used the AC charts published by Radio & Records from their inception until 2003, except for a brief period in 2000–2001 when both used unpublished Mediabase 24/7 charts. From 2003 to August 2006 (when R&R stopped using Mediabase to compile its charts), both shows used the Mediabase charts. From August 2006 until the end of its run, the AC shows once again were based on unpublished charts.

In 2005, WLTW in New York City commissioned a shortened one-hour version of American Top 10 featuring only the current hits of the week and eliminating the “extras.”

In December, AT10 focused on Christmas music because many of its affiliates broadcast a holiday/Christmas music format around the holiday season.

AT20 and AT10 aired their final episodes on the weekend of July 4–5, 2009, which coincided with the 39th anniversary of the premiere of the original AT40. When the countdown on both shows reached its end, instead of telling a story about something connected with the song or the artist behind it, Kasem instead chose to use that time to offer a brief history of how his career hosting AT40 and its spinoffs unfolded. This was followed by the trademark drumroll and Kasem’s introduction of the lone remaining song to be played. Shinedown’s “Second Chance” was the final #1 song on American Top 20 and Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” earned that spot on American Top 10. Once the song(s) ended, Kasem recapped the song title and how long it had topped the chart as he had done for years. He then closed both shows with the following farewell speech.

I’d like to share with you something I’ve learned over the years. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re only as good as the people you work with, and the people you work for. I’ve been lucky; I’ve worked for and with the very best!

— Casey Kasem at the end of the final AT20/AT10 broadcast[23]
Kasem then read the end credits and closed the show for the last time with his trademark signoff.

Along with the retirement of Kasem came the cancellation of AT20 and AT10 as Premiere decided not to continue the programs.

 

 

American Top 40 1970-2016

AT40 is broken down to 4 era’s.

Casey Kasem 1970-1988

American Top 40 1970-1979

American Top 40 1980-1989

Shadoe Stevens 1988-1995

American Top 40 – 1988-1995 – Shadoe Stevens

Casey Kasem 1998-2004

American Top 40 – 1998-2004 (CHR)

Ryan Seacrest 2004-Ongoing

American Top 40 – 2004-2016 – Ryan Seacrest – (CHR)

American Top 40 – 2004-2016 – Ryan Seacrest – (HAC)

History

1970–88: First Casey Kasem era

American Top 40 began on the Independence Day weekend in 1970, on seven radio stations, the very first being KDEO in El Cajon, California (now KECR), which broadcast the inaugural show the evening of July 3, 1970.[4] The chart data broadcast actually included the top 40 songs from the week ending July 11, 1970. The very first show featured the very last time both Elvis Presley and The Beatles had songs simultaneously in the Top 10. It was originally distributed by Watermark Inc., and was first presented in mono until it started recording in stereo in September 1972.[6] In early 1982, Watermark was purchased by ABC Radio and AT40 became a program of the “ABC Contemporary Radio Network”. The program was hosted by Casey Kasem and co-created by Kasem; Don Bustany, Kasem’s childhood friend from Detroit, MI;[7] radio veteran Tom Rounds; and 93/KHJ Program Director Ron Jacobs, who produced and directed the various production elements. Rounds was also the marketing director; the initial funder was California strawberry grower Tom Driscoll.

The show began as a three-hour program written and directed by Bustany, counting down the top 40 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart. The show quickly gained popularity once it was commissioned, and expanded to a four-hour-program on October 7, 1978, to reflect the increasing average length of singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The producing staff expanded to eight people, some of them still in the business: Nikki Wine, Ben Marichal, Scott Paton, Matt Wilson, Merrill Shindler, Guy Aoki, Ronnie Allen and Sandy Stert Benjamin. (Bustany retired from AT40 in 1989; since 1994, he has hosted a political talk show on listener-sponsored KPFK.) By the early 1980s, the show could be heard on 520 stations in the United States[8] and at its zenith, the show was broadcast on 1,000-plus stations in some 50 countries. Kasem told the New York Times in 1990 “I accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That is the timeless thing
1988–95: Shadoe Stevens era

In 1988, Kasem left the show over contract concerns with ABC. Industry trade paper Billboard magazine reported that the main disputes between Kasem and Watermark/ABC were over his salary, because of declining ratings and a smaller group of stations airing the show. Casey’s final AT40 show, the 940th in the series, aired on August 6, 1988. At no point during that final show did Kasem ever let on that any changes were afoot. Instead, he closed the show by telling the audience to catch him on America’s Top 10, the weekly music video show he hosted on television.

Kasem was replaced by Shadoe Stevens, whose first American Top 40 show aired on August 13, 1988, on 1,014 stations.[15] To introduce Stevens to the audience, a two-minute cold open was recorded to start the show with Stevens making his way to the studio through the show’s fictitious hall of history; Kasem was mentioned during the course of the open, as a “giant marble statue” of him helped guide Stevens to the studio. The change did not do much to stem the decline as loyal listeners did not take to Stevens as they had to Kasem.

To further complicate matters, Kasem returned to radio the following January as Westwood One signed him to a contract. On January 21, 1989, Kasem became a competitor to the show he helped launch when Westwood One premiered Casey’s Top 40, which used the weekly chart survey published by Radio & Records instead of the Billboard chart AT40 was still using. Many of the stations airing AT40 dropped it in favor of Casey’s Top 40, causing another significant drop in listenership.

In an attempt to win back an audience, AT40 tried new features, including interview clips, music news, top 5 flashbacks, and previews of upcoming chart hits (called the “AT40 Sneek Peek”[16]). It also stopped using the Hot 100 chart, switching first to the Hot 100 Airplay chart and finally to the Mainstream Top 40 chart. Later still, the countdown would use what was called a “No Nuttin'” gimmick that drew criticism; at various points of the show, a song would start immediately after the jingle for its position on the chart was played and Stevens would not offer any commentary until it concluded.[17]

ABC kept American Top 40 in its syndication lineup despite the continued lack of improvement in ratings, but in 1994 the network finally decided to look elsewhere.[18] ABC announced it would be acquiring the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, which was using the same charts that Casey’s Top 40 was, and that they would no longer carry American Top 40 as a result. The final AT40 for ABC aired on July 9, 1994, five days after its twenty-fourth anniversary.

Radio Express, founded by original show creator Tom Rounds, kept AT40 in production following the move by ABC as the program was still carried in foreign markets.[19][20] It was under Radio Express that the show finally came to an end nearly seven months later in the remaining markets that were carrying it, which by this point consisted almost entirely of overseas affiliates. The very last original AT40 aired on January 28, 1995, and it ended with an extended last segment. As usual, the #2 song on the chart led it off; that song was “Another Night” by Real McCoy, which had been the #1 song one week earlier. Stevens then took a moment to thank the listeners for their support over the previous twenty-four plus years and played one last Long Distance Dedication, sent by him to the fans. After going into depth about his potential choices, Stevens revealed his selection to be “(So Tired of Standing Still We Got to) Move On” by James Brown. Stevens then gave a rundown of how many songs had been played over the series’ entire run to that point, with a final total of 552 different chart toppers, including the one he was about to play as it returned to the top of the chart that week. That song, and the last song played in the history of the original AT40, was “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men.

1998–2004: American Top 40 returns; second Casey Kasem era
Towards the end of 1997, Casey Kasem acquired the rights to the American Top 40 name. Once this happened he sought to rebrand Casey’s Top 40, which was about to reach its nine-year anniversary on Westwood One, as American Top 40 but Westwood One would not allow Kasem to make the change. Kasem responded by abruptly resigning from Westwood One following the weekend of February 21, 1998 and began looking for a new syndicator to carry his other two countdowns for adult contemporary stations as well as help him revive AT40.

While Westwood One initially continued to air all three of Kasem’s countdown programs without his involvement and would eventually rebrand them to remove his name (Westwood One later decided to discontinue them altogether in March 1998), Kasem (as mentioned above) signed with AMFM Radio Networks, which was owned at the time by Chancellor Media, to carry the revived AT40 and his other two countdowns.[21]

Kasem’s new AT40 premiered on March 28, 1998 on many of Chancellor’s Top 40 stations. Chancellor also brought Kasem’s AC countdowns back that weekend after their month-long absence, with both now being branded as American Top 20.(see Spin-off programming below). Following the merger between Chancellor/AMFM and Clear Channel Communications (the predecessor of what is now iHeartMedia) in 1999, AT40 and other syndicated shows from AMFM Radio Networks were transferred into Premiere Radio Networks, which continues to syndicate the show as of today.

The resurrected American Top 40 kept the Radio and Records CHR/Pop chart previously used for Casey’s Top 40 and was used as the basis for the show for the majority of this period. The only exception was a brief period from October 2000 to August 2001 when an obscure Mediabase chart was used. This chart had a rather ambiguous recurrent rule, which would see songs removed weekly from the chart from as high as #10. By the time Kasem’s last show aired, the show had gone back to using Mediabase’s charts.

Kasem’s last show as host of AT40 aired on the weekend of January 3/4, 2004. His final #1 was Outkast’s “Hey Ya!”.[22]
2004–present: Ryan Seacrest era

The first Ryan Seacrest era logo used from 2004–2014
On January 10, 2004, Ryan Seacrest took over the hosting duties of American Top 40 from Kasem, although Kasem would continue to host American Top 20 and American Top 10 until his retirement in July 2009.[23] With the host change, AT40 underwent a makeover, using a new theme song and introducing several new features. These extras included interviews with celebrities (which were not restricted to musical or countdown artists), a gossip section, and an update on movies screening in cinemas. Other extras inducted on a regular basis include “AT40 Breakout”, a song predicted to crack the chart within the next few weeks (formerly known as the “Out of The Box” hit); “Request Line”, a segment in which Ryan Seacrest will play a song requested by a listener; “Double Play”, a former hit from the artist just played; “AT40 Sleaze” (inspired by the “Dees Sleaze” segment of the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 radio show); and “AT40 Rewind”, a hit song from the past decade or so. In between songs, Seacrest and his guest hosts often make deadpan one-liners while writers and producers can be heard laughing frequently, including the security guard “Roger”. Additionally, Seacrest initially opened most shows by playing the previous week’s #1 song, as Kasem often did in the 1980s; this was discontinued after 2006, but in mid-2009 Seacrest began including a shorter recap segment in the show’s introduction, in which he would play brief segments of the previous week’s top three hits. In December 2004, the Hot AC version of the show debuted, giving both Seacrest and Kasem competing countdowns in the same format until 2009.

The show also began using a new chart that used no recurrent rule. On the first show with Ryan Seacrest, this led to several older songs reappearing after having dropped off many weeks earlier. Over the long term, it meant songs could spend long runs for about a year on the chart even after they went to recurrent status on other published charts. “Here Without You” by 3 Doors Down set a longevity record in 2004 for the CHR show by lasting 50 weeks before finally falling off. In 2006, “Scars” by Papa Roach would go on to tie the record. In 2011, Taio Cruz set AT40’s all time longevity record with his song “Dynamite”. This hit remained on the chart for 72 weeks, from July 2010 to November 2011. On the Hot AC version of AT40, “Love Song” by Sara Bareilles set the all-time record in 2009 at 103 consecutive weeks. American Top 40 also became more interactive, involving online song voting and e-mail. In December 2006, the series’ website was revamped, and the online song voting was discontinued in favor of publishing the Hot AC chart. The website also includes a toll-free number where fans can make requests and “shoutouts”, as they would to a local radio station, and by 2009 replayed clips of shoutouts became part of the show. Online song voting was later reinstated, with results of votes on American Top 40’s website factored into the chart rankings. AT40 was also expanded to social media through Twitter and Facebook where listeners from around the world will request a song to be included in the AT40 Extra segment, as well as their own mobile application which is available for free download on the Apple AppStore for iOS devices and on Google Play for Android devices.

In March 2010, Premiere Radio Networks announced that “American Top 5,” a condensed daily top-5 countdown, would begin airing as part of the daily radio program On Air, also hosted by Seacrest.[24]

In March 2016, the show underwent some minor changes. “Tell Me Something Good”, a segment from Seacrest’s weekday show On Air, was added to American Top 40. Additionally, any “extra” songs that aired during the show are announced by Seacrest before playing. The following month, the show resumed mentioning some of its affiliates around the world during the show. AT40 also debuted a brand new custom jingle package produced by TM Studios of Dallas Texas, complete with chart number jingles and extra beds. The new package debuted early April 2016.

As of 2016, American Top 40 is produced by Claudine Cazian and engineered by James Rash.

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