The first broadcast of "American Top 40" aired on KDEO on July 3, 1970. The inaugural show, hosted by Casey Kasem, was a three-hour show that counted down the top 40 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.
From the first show of "American Top 40," Kasem interspersed his broadcast with stories about the songs or the performers. For example, the first show's introduction discussed Mark Lindsay's car having gold hubcaps worth $10,000 and how "It's All in the Game" reached the charts four times in 19 years.
The inaugural edition of "American Top 40" covered notable songs such as "Spill the Wine" by Eric Burdon & War, "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain, "The Wonder of You" by Elvis Presley, "The Long and Winding Road" by the Beatles and "Close to You" by the Carpenters. The show culminated with "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones and "Mama Told Me Not to Come" by Three Dog Night, which was the No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 that week.