Casey Kasem: 1932-2014

Casey-Kasem

As another light dims in the cosmic universe, it is once again cause for contemplation and remembrance. I vividly recall sitting by the radio every weekend with my Realistic cassette recorder from Radio Shack cued and ready to record the weekly American Top 40 countdown. Back in those days I had to wait until I’d saved enough allowance to buy my favorite 45 r.p.m. records.

My pre-teen weekends were consumed with Saturday morning cartoons, roller skating, and Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. AM radio was cool back then and AT40 ruled the airwaves. It was a simpler time – long before Google and Wikipedia had been thought of, and my world revolved around Kasem’s weekly nuggets of pop music wisdom. It seems hard to imagine now, but as a kid, I was completely naive to the fact that two of my favorite things (Scooby Doo and American Top 40) were related, as Kasem’s voice brought to life the character of Shaggy on my most beloved cartoon. I’m not sure how I didn’t realize two of my adolescent predilections were one and the same, but I guess as a kid it was all too easy to get lost within the magic of imagination.

Sadly, it’s time to bid adieu to the illustrious voice that was and will forever remain an important part of my childhood, yet Casey Kasem’s legacy as king of the countdown will forever be indelibly stamped upon my fondest memories.

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Top Ten Best U2 B-sides

Top Ten Best U2 B-sides

 

Although music is highly subjective, below is my ranking of the 10 best B-sides by U2. Not only are these tracks some of my personal favorites, but I’d go a step further and say they should’ve been included on the album of their particular era. Agree or disagree?

10. “Salomé” (from “Even Better Than the Real Thing”)

9. “Summer Rain” (from “Beautiful Day”)

8. “Love Comes Tumbling” (from “The Unforgettable Fire”)

7. “Blow Your House Down” (outtake from Achtung Baby)

6. “Dancing Barefoot” (from “When Love Comes to Town”)

5.  “The Sweetest Thing” (from “Where the Streets Have No Name”)

4.  “Winter” (outtake from No Line on the Horizon)

3. “Are You Gonna Wait Forever?” (from “Vertigo”)

2.  “Lady with the Spinning Head” (from “One”)

1. “Spanish Eyes” (from “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”)

 © 2014 U2TOURFANS.com

Dolly Parton: Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke [+digital booklet]

Dolly Parton: Blue Smoke

With an extensive discography that spans six decades, Dolly Parton at age 68 could have easily rested upon her laurels, but instead she chose to deliver her most beguiling work in years with her 42nd studio album, Blue Smoke. While her skills as a musician and multi-instrumentalist may often get overlooked, Parton’s acumen as a Grammy-winning songwriter is firmly intact and amply displayed throughout Blue Smoke’s 12 exquisite tracks.

On her latest set, Parton not only dares to take on Bon Jovi’s “Lay Your Hands on Me,” making it her own by transforming it into a gospel-tinged anthem, but delivers an infectious version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice,” and teams up with friends Kenny Rogers (“You Can’t Make Old Friends”) and Willie Nelson (“From Here to the Moon and Back”) with extraordinary results. Parton even manages to successfully pull off the tongue in cheek “Lover du Jour,” which would be utterly laughable performed by anyone else. Also featured is Parton’s heartwarming ditty and latest single “Home” (“Where the warm wind’s blowing and the river’s flowing/Where I can lay down my heavy load and know that I am always welcome”), which is akin to her 1984 hit “Tennessee Homesick Blues,” and easily feels apt cozying up alongside the rest of Parton’s best work.

With its inclusion of all of Parton’s musical trademarks, from the bluegrass timbre of the opening title track to the uplifting closer “Try,” Blue Smoke easily hits its mark of making us look within ourselves while laughing through our tears. Dolly Parton’s timeless voice and prolific contribution to music will continue to speak volumes long after she’s finished sharing her talents.

© 2014 ForASong Media, LLC