American Top 40--commonly abbreviated as AT40--was an internationally syndicated radio program tht was independently created by Casey Kasem. Kasem hosted the original
AT40 program from July 4, 1970--the first show--until August 6, 1988, and then returned to host a rejuvenated series from March 28,
1998, through January 3, 2004. As the name of the show suggested, AT40 was a backward-countdown of the top 40 songs in America. The show utilized
Billboard charts during the formative years but began running numbers from Radio and Records upon its late 1990s return.
Battistini's two volumes are wonderful collections of all the shows during the 1970s and 1980s. Each episode is detailed and includes all the songs played as well as anecdotal moments on each show.
The author first became mesmerized with AT40 back in 1971 during one Easter Sunday. From that point forward, he recorded every episode on a very cheap cassette player. In fact, he was so dedicated to recording the shows that Dick Clark himself used to call up the young Battistini looking for specific shows and details that no one else would know about. The author's basement was covered wall-to-wall with every show, either on the original vinyl or reel to reel. Casey Kasem was so appreciative of his chronicles that he now sends episodes weekly to Battistini on CD.
These are fascinating books and unique looks at the music America was listening to so many decades ago.