American Top 40 Specials

During its 30-plus years, AT40 has done a number of specials. Most of the specials were done during AT40's first decade (1970s), and often these were used to help sell AT40 to affiliates. Below is a chronological listing of all AT40 specials from 1970 to present. Year-end countdowns are not included in this list.

(Note that images come from sales on e-bay. All copyrights remain property of their respective owners. Information here is for educational use only).


May 1, 1971: "Top 40 Recording Acts of the Rock Era (1955-1971)" This was the first edition of this special.

Christmas weekend, 1971: "All-Time Christmas Countdown" . A top 40 list of Christmas songs were played with stories told about each. This was the first edition of this special.

July 4 weekend, 1972: "All-Time Rock & Roll Countdown" . These were the top 40 songs from 1955-1972.

August 5, 1972: "National Album Countdown" . The show counted down the top 40 albums of the week instead of the top 40 singles.

September 30, 1972: "Top 40 Recording Acts Of the Past 5 Years (1967-1972)" . A countdown of the 40 biggest acts from September 1, 1967 to September 1, 1972 was played.

April 7, 1973: "Top 40 Hits Of the Past 5 Years (1968-1973)" . Casey played the biggest hits from March 1 1968 to March 1 1973.

July 4, 1973: "Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" . A strict countdown of one hit wonders who had only 1 hit on the Hot 100 and had not appeared on the chart in 2 years. This was the first edition of this special.

October 6, 1973: "Top 40 Acts of the Rock Era (1955-1973)" . This was the second edition of this special. The first version aired in 1971. This special updated the list through 1973.

Christmas 1973: "All-Time Christmas Countdown". This was the second edition of this special. The first aired in 1971. Few changes were made from the original run.

April 6, 1974: "The Top 40 Most Extraordinary British Hits Of the Rock Era". The top 40 songs by British acts were counted down.

July 4, 1974: "Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" . This was the first edition of this special.

October 5, 1974: "Top 10 Producers Of the 70s" . The 10 biggest producers in pop music were profiled with 3 to 5 songs of each producer played.

April 5, 1975: "Top 40 Disappearing Acts Of the Rock Era" . This is the second edition of this special. The first was aired in 1973. Few changes were made to the countdown.

July 4, 1975: "American Top 40's first show"  . The first AT40 show from July 4 1970 was rebroadcast for the shows fifth anniversary.

October 4, 1975: "The 40 Rock and Roll Acts Of the 1950s" .

July 4, 1976: "The #1 Songs On the 4th Of July 1937-1976" . Instead of a true countdown, AT40 played every song that was number one on July 4 from 1937 to 1976.

October 2, 1976: "The 40 Songs Of the Beatles Years (1964-1970)" . The top 40 songs from 1964 to 1970 were counted down.

July 4, 1977: "Top 40 Songs About Women" . The top 40 songs about or dedicated to women during the rock era were played.

April 1, 1978: "Top 40 Songs From the Movies" . The top 40 songs that came from movies from 1960 to 1978 were played.

July 4, 1978: "Top 40 Acts Of the 1970s" . This was the second edition of this special. There were many differences from the version that aired in 1974.

July 4, 1979: "Top 40 Disco Hits". The top 40 disco songs were counted down.

New Year's Weekend, 1979/80: "Top 50 Hits of the 1970s" . AT40 counted down the top 40 hits of the decade.

July 4, 1980: "American Top 40 Book Of Records" . This was the first edition of the special. Like the July 1976 special, this was not a countdown, but a list. Songs that held various chart records, e.g. longest stay in the top 40, were played.

July 4, 1981: "Top 40 Hits Of the Beatles" . The top 40 songs of the Beatles as well as members' solo hits were counted down.

July 4, 1983: "Top 40 Acts Of the 80s (So Far)" .

giants logoJuly 4, 1986: "Giants Of Rock and Roll Special" . AT40 conducted a survey of DJs that asked, "Who were the most influential acts in the history of Rock and Roll?". This show counted down the results.

top40 of 80s logoJuly 4, 1987: "Top 40 Hits Of the 80s (So Far)"

newcomers artMay 30, 1988: "Top 40 Newcomers Of the 1980s" . A countdown of the top 40 acts who made their debut in the 1980s was played.

triathlon pictureJuly 4, 1988: "Triathalon Of Rock and Roll" . AT40 counted down the Top 40 acts who charted in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

worldtour artMemorial Day Weekend, 1989: "American Top 40 World Tour". A countdown of the top 40 American acts of the 80s who were the biggest outside the USA was aired. 

bookofrecordscoverartLabor Day Weekend, 1989: "American Top 40 Book of Records" . This was the second edition of this special, sort of. This version only included records based on the 1980s only.

20th anniversary special cdJuly 4, 1990: "Twentieth Anniversary Special" . This was another show that was not a countdown. The top songs of each year AT40 was on the air were played, and information about what occurred each year was given.

star trek cd art - click for a better pic[January 26, 1991: "Star Trek: The Next Generation Special". Although this was not a special countdown like all the others in this list, the show was unique because it included interviews with the STTNG cast throughout the show. Click on the picture for more pictures.]

July 4, 1991: "All-American 4th Of July Special" . The top 40 acts of the past 10 years (1981-1991) were counted down, and messages to those military personnel participating in the Gulf War were aired.

New Year's Weekend, 1999/2000: "The Y2K Countdown": Casey Kasem highlighted the 40 days that "changed music", and played songs from 1955 to 1999. No AT40 jingles were used as the special could have been used for both AT40 and AT20 affiliates.

New Year's Weekend, 1999/2000: "The Top 40 songs of the 90s". AT40 counted down the 40 biggest pop hits of the 1990s. On the AT20s, the top 30 songs of the 90s for the Hot AC and AC formats were counted down.

Christmas Weekend, 2001: "All Time Christmas Countdown": This was the third edition of this special, and the first in nearly 30 years. Visit the picture page for a view of the cds for the show.