Thursday, December 1, 2011

What AFRTS meant to me

At the age of 15 / 16 a person is very susceptive for new influences - in many aspects. This is also true for the preference of musical styles - we like, what we hear and share this with others.

In Germany the musical scene in the mid-sixties was only mainstream-pop from England and Germany. My first contact to a completely+ different sound as in 1966, after I tuned-in (by chance) AFN Bremerhaven on my small transistor-radio.

The music was of overwhelming force and tempo. It was "Bluegrass"-music. From that day on, I stayed tuned to AFN and recorded some music with a microphone from the loudspeaker.  Suddenly I became aware of the many styles of music that I had never heard of before. Country-Music, Soul, Jazz , Latino-Music - even Polka, Easy-Listening. I liked them all , and I still do today.  It was not only the music, it was also the DJs. Their laid-back style, the sometimes intoxicating way of announcing the titles was completely new to me.

So I began to record not only the music but also some of the DJ's talk on my tape-machine, later on cassettes. My favourite DJs were Herman Griffith, Wolfman Jack, Roland Bynum, Charlie Tuna, Gene Weed, Vance Graham and of course Chris Noel.

I learned some aspects of American life and still today it is easier for me to translate spoken American English than British English. As a German civillian this helped me, especially in my job. So all this is my reason to thank AFRTS for producing the shows that not only entertained the American forces but also a German boy and maybe many others too, around the world.

Congratulations and Good Luck AFRTS !

Guenther Schoenlau