Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AT40, September 18, 1982 [Part 2 of 8]

I recently celebrated a birthday and as a gift received a set of 4 LPs and cue sheets from American Top 40 program #823-12, which was intended for broadcast during the weekend of September 18-19, 1982.  We've already checked out the first half hour of the show (side 1A) and today I'll break down side 1B. 

For the first year of existence, AT40 was sent to subscriber stations each week on reel-to-reel tapes.  In the fall of 1971, they switched to vinyl and used this format exclusively for 18 years.  In July 1989, programs became available on CD, but vinyl copies were also available until the end of 1990.   I can only assume that digital files for AT40 are used these days, so hard copies such this set are a thing of the past.

Complete cue sheets for this episode are available here.  For reasons of time, AT40 would occasionally shorten songs by removing a chorus or verse, so with each song, I'll give a comparison of the single time to the approximate playing time the song received on AT40 that week. Each side includes 3 segments, which include Casey and music followed by national ads, and space for local ads.


After introducing himself, Casey introduces the highest debuting song of the week, from the Hawaiian-born wife of Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain.

#37: "Holdin' On" by Tané Cain (peaked at #37): single length 3:19/AT40 playing time 3:05

Casey introduces the next song with a 43 second clip from Brenda Lee's 1962 version of the next song (which peaked at #4) before turning it over to...

#36: "Break It to Me Gently" by Juice Newton (peaked at #11): 3:55/3:53

30 second Nestle ad for the $100,000 bar, followed by a 30 second ad for Chewels sugarless gum, followed by 60 seconds of time reserved for local ads.


Station mentions: over the beautiful sax intro of the next song, Casey recognizes the following subscriber stations:
KBFM - McAllen, Texas
WHMP - Northampton, Massachusetts
WLS - Chicago, Illinois
#35: "The One You Love" by Glenn Frey (peaked at #15): 4:35/4:27

As he was wont to do, Casey told us all about the chart activity of the next band as way of introduction: top ten on the soul charts 7 times, top spot twice, and the top 40 on the pop chart twice, including...

#34: "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" by The Gap Band (peaked at #31): 3:59/3:45

Casey teases about a father waking up his daughter in the middle of the night for an early morning recording session - "details coming up"
60 second ad for Activision's Pitfall! game, followed by a 60 second ad for Frito Lay's $10,000 cash giveaway promoting single serve snacks.


Clever tie-in with the next band's name, a Wizard of Oz themed promo: "Every week, we count down the biggest hits in the U.S.A. from Dorothy, New Jersey to Witch Lake, Michigan.  From Rainbow, Montana to Lionville, Pennsylvania."

#33: "Make Believe" by Toto (peaked at #30): 3:41/3:37

Casey shares the story of Frank Zappa waking up his daughter Moon to record the next single, Frank Zappa's only Top 40 pop hit.

#32: "Valley Girl" by Frank & Moon Zappa (peaked at #32): 3:47/3:43

No national ads. 2 minutes allotted for local ads and 10 seconds for station ID. End of hour 1.

click to enlarge


  1. Today, Casey affiliates download mp3s from Premiere Radio Networks' FTP server. Cue sheets are PDF files. At some stations, syndicated shows download directly to the station's digital automation and air without being touched much at all. At my station, we burn backups of Casey to CD in case the automation gives out. This has happened once that I can recall, in six years.

    On another matter, the most flashback-inducing part of this post is the photo of the Fritos bag. That's the way they looked in my lunch bag all through growing up.

    1. Thanks for the updated info. I hate hearing about digital automation as it ruins my romantic notions about radio and DJs.

    2. I too once had romantic notions about being on the radio. Dad finagled a visit to the local small town radio station where the guy sounded nothing like the guy we heard on the radio - until he strated talking into the mic. So the mic was the key. Noted. He seemed to like powdered donuts but he was a slob about it, with some powder left on his upper lip and around his nose. Visit went well enough I managed to tie another one into earning a Scout badge and we met a different DJ who flat out told me NOT to be a DJ though I forgot what his reasons were. (I was 12.) He apparently liked powdered donuts too though on our complete tour of the station including the kitchen, I saw no donuts. So after that second visit, I tabled my DJ dreams. Until WKRP premiered that fall. And then I saw FM on HBO in the Spring of 1979. Still never became a DJ but the dream flares up every now and again.

  2. Don't know when WLS jumped on the AT40 train - must have been after I moved in 1981. Used to get my Casey fix on WLRW out of Champaign-Urbana which coincidentally is where I taped most of my music from. As an FM station, it just sounded so much better than WLS AM 890 did, even on the one speaker radio cassette player I was using.