Various Artists, American Top 40 With Casey Kasem, Watermark Inc, 1983
Quick: What was the number one song today in 1983? If you’re like me, and I doubt you are as far as this blog post subject goes, you’d know that the new #1 hit all across America is Bonnie Tyler and her smash hit Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Welcome to one of the stranger finds a discount record shopper can hope to find.
Most people who listened to US radio between 1970 and 1990 remember Casey Kasem and his weekly Top 40 countdown show. What most people probably never though much about was how that program was able to be broadcast at random times by thousands of radio stations across the country. As labor intensive as it sounds today, the production company would rush Casey into the studio on a Monday morning just as soon at they had the chart information from Billboard Magazine, to record the show. They they would press a few thousand vinyl records and overnight them to every station that would air the show. The records were usually only played once, and then they were supposed to be destroyed.
But, of course, and thankfully, the poor minimum wage radio station employees who had to sit there and do basically nothing for 4 hours except flip the records over now and then sometimes kept the records to listen to at home. And why not? Everyone knows that a Sheena Easton record is always made better when a Dannon Yogurt commercial plays right after it! These box sets are really rare today, and sometimes shops ask extraordinary prices for a complete set (meaning not just the whole show on record, but also the original box and program listing guide). I’ve paid as much as $25 for some myself, so finding this treasure for $2 made me feel like I actually touched the stars.
Cost: $2, $684 Remaining