Before Casey, And It’s No Rumor

by POPSIE 1956

Over the weekend, the world lost a broadcast pioneer in Casey Kasem.

How many of us grew up on American Top 40, or the Scooby Doo cartoons?

In the last few days, I’ve seen countless posts, mostly from broadcasters and other entertainers, as to the influence Casey had on their career, and decision to do what they do (or at least one time did) for a living.

Casey, like Dick Clark, another iconic radio trailblazer, each represented a specific style in their performance.

For me, great as they were/are, what they did had little to no effect on me on getting into the field of broadcasting, a field…I am very lucky to say…I have been involved in for the majority of the last nearly 40 years.

For me, it was the early days of wacky, off the wall DJ’s. If you’ve ever heard the great George Carlin bit, “Wonderful WINO,” you know what I’m talking about.

Click on this to see what I mean 

There have been so many great talents from the Old School days, and while they stand on their own merits, in the Capital District of Upstate New York, the only one that mattered worked at 1540 WPTR

Boom Boom Brannigan.

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No, not him, that’s the guy in “Grease.”

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THIS guy.

According to legend, the Boomer was on his way to get a radio job in New York City, stopped in Albany, and never looked back.

Doesn’t happen much anymore, but remember when cities had that ONE station, that EVERYONE listened to, that could do NO wrong?

Back in the day, that was WPTR, and out of all the fantastic talent on that station over the years, to this day, it’s Boomer who people remember.

Boom had a great schtick, he was a showman, on and off the microphone.

Brannigan was EVERYWHERE! There wasn’t a high school dance he didn’t do, and he had multiple gigs in one night, so his “roadies” did most of the dance, Boom showed up, got the crowd going, and split for the next gig..

Making a BOATLOAD of money along the way.

I’ve mentioned my upcoming 40th high school reunion coming up (Go Shaker Blue Bison!).

The guy doing music for us that day, my friend Brother Lou Roberts of WGNA, began his career training under Boomer.

What I would have given to take his place.

I have many regrets in my life, professionally, the biggest one is not ever meeting the Boomer to thank him for making me who I am.

I still have young guys come up to me, telling me how what I did as a Top 40 DJ inspired them t0 get into broadcasting.

I tell them I never did anything original, I just took what I learned from guys like Boom and made it my own.

When Brannigan passed, out of respect, I went to the wake.

And like everything else Boomer did in life, the event was SPECTACULAR!

Golden Oldies blaring on the PA, pictures of Boomer with EVERY music star you could think of hung on the walls…

And Boomer in the box, dressed to the nines, a crushed velvet tux, his hair (real or bought, didn’t matter) just perfect, and still wearing those damn sunglasses.

Always the showstopper.

So to Casey Kasem, thank you for all the years you spent entertaining millions.

And if you have a moment, when you see the Boomer, tell him Shadow thanks him too.

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