Casey Kasem, the Detroit-born disc jockey who hosted the popular radio show “American Top 40” and died on Sunday, lent his voice to American classics -- rock ’n’ roll, cartoons and cars.
Kasem, 82, died in Gig Harbor, Wash., of sepsis and was suffering from Lewy body dementia. The Wayne State University graduate did voice-over in commercials for Chevrolet and Ford in the 1970s and 1980s.
In a spot for the 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle that revived the 1950s “See the USA in Your Chevrolet,” campaign, a family drives down a country road in the mid-sized sedan.
“Chevelle gives you big-car comfort in a less expensive size, so it fits more families and more budgets,” Kasem says in the voice-over. “Chevrolet wants your new Chevelle to be the best car you’ve ever owned.”
A decade later, Kasem’s voice was heard in an edgier commercial for the Ford Escort (go to 6:30 in this link). In the spot, the compact car speeds through an obstacle course in the desert as Kasem lists its features, then it drives off a ramp and over two five-car-long rows.
“No wonder Escort sales jumped over every big car, small car, foreign car, domestic car, over every other car line in America,” he says.