AT40 Memos, Cue Sheets, and More

Throughout this site, there are links to examples of AT40 paperwork throughout the years. On this page is a summary and a brief explanation of all those items and a few new ones.


AT40's Replay of the first show on its 5th anniversary (July 1975)

To celebrate the show's 5th anniversary, AT40 replayed the very first show from 1970. To inform program directors, they included this memo with the show.

Debbie Gibson as Guest Host

This letter explains that Debbie Gibson will be filling in for Shadoe on the 6/24/89 show.

AT40's change to CD from vinyl

On July 1, 1989, AT40 was available on CD on the 1st time. AT40 sent a letter to radio stations about the change. Each show was 4 CDs in length, with each CD containing an hours' worth of content. Eventually, CDs replaced vinyl completely.

Inappropriate Lyrics

In 1990, "The Humpty Dance" was in the top 40, and the song contained lyrics that some stations found inappropriate for their station. This memo to stations told how to edit the song out of the countdown.

Disney World Show 1991

For a few years in the early 1990s, AT40 was recorded at Disney World for Grad Night. This letter lets affiliates know about the show in 1991.

Sneek Peek Feature 1991

The new weekly Sneek Peek feature debuted in October 1991. This memo explains the new feature to the affiliates.

AT40 Chart Change 1991

For the December 14, 1991 show, a letter was included that explained that AT40 was now using a different chart.

Station ID Memo, 1992

This memo lets affiliates know about new opportunities for the stations to insert their local ID into the show.

Actualities Memo

AT40 included artist interview clips on cds during the latter part of the original show's run (see below). This memo introduces them to radio station program directors.

New Jingles Package

On the shows 22nd anniversary, AT40 began using new, "hip" jingles. This memo was sent to program directors informing them of the change.

Promo Memo

AT40 sometimes did "generic" promos for the show that could be used anytime. This memo highlights one such occurrance.

America's Top Hits Changes

Starting in 2003, "America's Top Hits" was sent to stations as a separate cd. This memo explains the changes.


Cue Sheets

In order for AT40 to play correctly on the radio, station engineers had to know exactly what was contained on the AT40 recording. Included with each show was a set of cue sheets, which lists in detail each segment of the show and the playing time of each track. These sheets also indicated how much time the station had to play commercials in between each segment of the show. 

Artist Actualities

From late May 1992 throug the end of its original run, AT40 included more interview clips from artists in the show. AT40 also made these interview clips available for stations to use outside of the show. The interviews were included as separate tracks on a cd, and the cue sheets included the text of the clip as well as a possible introduction to the clip. This way, a station could act like a DJ was interviewing the artist.

Proof of Play Affidavit

Radio station personnel also had to communicate back to AT40s owners and let them know that they did play the show. One way they could do this is by sending a proof-of-play affidavit. 

A Letter to AT40

In 1991 I wrote AT40 and asked them a question. "Doctor" Rob Durkee graciously wrote me back.

Long Distance Dedication Letters

In 1989, these letters were sent to a listener who had written a long distance dedication to the show. The first one seems to reject the dedication, while the second one lets the writer know when the dedication will air. The name of the person has been removed from the picture. Pictures are from an ebay auction.

Chart Examples

Samples of the various charts AT40 have used are posted on this page (no complete charts are listed)

Script Cards

Samples of the script cards and other info cards used by the AT40 staff.

If any of this links are broken, or other problems are encountered, please let me know.

This page last updated 18 December 2016

This is a non-profit site, designed to educate those who have an interest in the radio show "American Top 40". This site has no affiliation with Premiere Networks, Billboard Magazine, or the former Radio and Records Magazine. All copyrights and trademarks remain property of their respective owners. Original artwork at the very top of this page is copyright 2016 by Meowycats. Comments? Send them using the feedback page.

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