Tom Rounds Dies

Tom Rounds, a radio promoter who with Casey Kasem and Don Bustany co-created “American Top 40” and is credited with the staging the first U.S. rock festival, died June 1 at 77 of surgery complications.

Rounds in 1967 created the Fantasy Fair & Magic Mountain Festival on Mt. Tamalpais near San Francisco, a precursor to Monterey Pop and Woodstock fests, featuring sets by the Doors, Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds, and Steve Miller Band. He also produced 1968’s Miami Pop II Festival with Marvin Gaye, the Grateful Dead, and Fleetwood Mac.

At the time of his death, Rounds was CEO of Radio Express, a network of more than 5,000 stations worldwide, according to Rolling Stone. Before co-creating the country’s first radio countdown show, Rounds held down stints at San Francisco’s KFRC-AM, New York’s WINS-AM and Honolulu’s KPOI-AM.

He began his concert promotion career in Hawaii, forming Arena Associates and bringing artists to the islands before or after their San Francisco shows.