Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Silent Service

Depending on your age, William Conrad means radio's Matt Dillon, Rocky and Bullwinkle's announcer or Cannon.  He was a monster talent.

In the late 40s, he did a tribute to the Navy and the Silent Service.

Longest Year - Tribute to the 19th Bombardment Group USAAF

Here's a tribute to one of the most decorated units ever. The 19th Bombardment Group  The network did a lot of programming to highlight our history.  Howard Culver tells the story. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

AFRS Asmara 1972-73

Roland Richter shares his memories:

We were running a Gates BC-1G transmitter with 1 kilowatt into a quarter wave tower with a really good ground system...120 radials quarter wave long...had good processing for the time, The Gates Solid Statesman compressor and limiter at the transmitter and an older Gates Sta Level at the studio with an equalized phone line to the transmitter site. I have a couple air checks from there and one tape that was sent by a DX-er from Finland who picked us up. We were live a lot more than most from 6am-11, from 1-2, and from 4 to midnight. The AM was top 40 most of the time, with two hours of country. The top 40 had a heavy soul mix in. Weekends were mostly oldies. The FM was automated taped beautiful music except 7-10 pm weeknights when there were specialty shows...classical, folk, oldies, album rock, etc. FM was 200 watts. TV was 100 watts on Channel 2. We were on 3 pm till 1 am weeknights...noon til 2 am on weekends...did half hour of news and weather at 6 and 10 every day and a live kids show on Saturday morning...for a time did a Saturday dance show and a quiz show sort of like College Bowl. I was there 1972-73. The station was actually on before it was an AFRTS affiliate. Kagnew Station was an Army Security Agency site and we had no trouble getting anything we needed! There were 4 am studios including a news room with 2 reel to reels, cart recorder and 4 cart playbacks, FM stereo studio with 2 Scully reel to reels and cart recorder and playback, gates automation system for FM with 4 reel to reels, two carousel cart players and three single play carts...a small and large AM production studio. Control room in AM had Gatesway II, and there were Sold Statesman boards in the smaller studios and in FM control. TV control had a Grass Valley Switcher and a Sparta ten pot audio board...we had Norelco cameras but I can't remember what the film chain was. No tape in TV in those days. We did shoot both film and slides for TV and the post film processor was across the street as part of PAO and they did processing and film editing for us.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Program Shipments in the 90s

Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) Program Materials, DoD Directive 5120.20-R, Appendix F.
AFRTS-BC ships 80 hours of radio program materials to their AM outlets per week. More than half of the weekly package consists of current music programs featuring major-market DJs. The music heard on these programs is the same as played on many popular music FM stations across the United States. Another portion of the weekly package consists of recordings of the latest hits according to various music charts. To provide the widest possible variety of radio programming, AFRTS-BC includes religious, talk, drama, variety and other program formats in the weekly package.
FM stations also are furnished with program packages. The stations receive a basic FM package along with taped stereo music shipments consisting of vocals and instrumentals.
The radio unit package (RU) contains approximately one-half (30 hours) of the total radio programming package and is generally undated. It is routed through circuits of one or two outlets. In the RU package you will find weekly religious shows, dramas, features, variety shows and information "fillers." Under normal circuiting (routing), one unit is available for broadcast and two other RUs are either at the station or enroute.
Teaming with the RU package to provide full AFRTS radio entertainment is the radio priority/library package (RP/L). This weekly package has two parts - the radio priority package (RP) and the radio library package (RL).
Radio Priority Package (RP)
The RP package contains approximately 45 hours of timely (dated) materials, including chart music programs, and is shipped to each authorized radio station for immediate broadcast. Because the RPs contain timely material, they have no value after they are aired and include instructions for immediate local destruction. RPs are authorized only for stations that receive the RU package.
Radio Library Package (RL)
The RL package contains approximately six hours of individual recorded music cuts on CD for retention as permanent library material. Because RL material is designed for permanent library retention, shipments continue during temporary periods when other programming may be suspended. A computer floppy disk, containing artist and title information, is included in each shipment. The CDs in the RL package are accountable items and periodic inventories are mandatory.
Stations authorized to receive the RP/L package also receive the American Top 40 and the American Country Countdown programs as a separate RP shipment labeled 40-C. Like the RP unit, materials in 40-C are destroyed after airing.
The radio tape package (RT) is a weekly audiotape shipment consisting of approximately 84 hours of RU, RP, 40-C and special information items for authorized ships and selected shore-based stations. Packages contain 14 7-inch tapes recorded at 3 3/4 ips in a fro-track monaural format that can be run on simple automation or manual playback systems. At the end of each recorded track, a 25-hertz tone cues tape reversal and automatic switching to the next track, enabling small radio operations with the proper equipment to automate a full broadcast day. RT units are returned to the duplication contractor after airing so the tapes and shipping containers can be recycled. Outlets authorized to receive the RT package will not receive the RU, RL or 40-C shipments.
Occasionally, your station may receive the radio materials (RM) shipment. It may contain entertainment or information programs, holiday specials, special features, spots or production aids. The type and timeliness of the material will determine whether the RM is shipped on CD or tape and which outlets will receive it.
The three packages available under the heading of FM tape services are FM library (FML), FM program (FMP) and FM religious (FMR). These tapes provide alternate programming for authorized outlets with second broadcast frequencies or cable distribution channels. Tapes are recorded in four-track stereo at 3 3/4 ips on 10 1/2-inch reels. Cue tones are prerecorded on the tapes for automation equipment.
The FML unit is a monthly shipment of roughly 24 hours of library music in three formats - beautiful music, adult contemporary and country. It is designed for permanent retention by the station.
The FMP unit is a quarterly shipment consisting of about 26 hours of hosted stereo programs.
The FMR unit is a religious music program service that includes 12 55-minute hosted programs in each shipment.

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Book from Gene Price

Gene Price has a new book out:
"I have published a book titled Lukas’ Maiden Voyage.  The story revolves around Christ’s  Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem,  as seen through the eyes of the young donkey that carried him. I wrote it for young people, ages  9-14 and I wrote it as a Christian mystery story…I hope I succeeded! I just wanted update you on what I’ve been doing in retirement.
The publisher is Westbow Press…which is a subsidiary of Thomas Nelson, the largest Christian publishing house in the world.
I’d love your HONEST opinion of what you think of the book."

It's available as an ebook, softcover or hardcover, the holidays will be here sooner than ever.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AFN Ed Tooma 1973

Ed Tooma
Phil just transferred another great broadcast.  It's 1973 and from Berlin, Army Specialist Ed Tooma has your soul favorites on "The American Music Hall"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keeping busy...

I thought you may wonder where these things come from.  Last week I heard from a friend who located several hundred pounds of primarily AFRS transcriptions.  There are way too many to catalog at this time.

My friend is in Carolina, I'm in Minnesota.  The disks are in the northwest.  Naturally.
In the 70s, apparently in conjunction with a station closure at FEN (which stations closed in the 70s??), these ETs were rescued, shipped back to the states and simply stored for about 30 years and almost found their way to the dumpster...again.
Stations that closed in that timeframe include: FEN-Beppu, Nagoya, Wakkannai, Itazuke, Chitose ,Osaka, Kobe & Iwo Jima...
Someone with no connection to AFRTS or even broadcasting wasn't sure what they were but knew they were special, he stored them for about ten years and now needs the space and they could end up in the dumpster.  So we've been working on what would be involved in getting them heard again.
How often do these things get trashed?

If everything goes the way I think it will, there are going to be some happy listeners but these things take time.

If you ever run across these things and they need a good home please  let me know...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Harry Newman 1980

Harry always told the story of the music.  Harry was on the air in southern California for 30 years including KBLA, KBBQ and KLAC.  Last word I could find had him retiring in 1995 and living in Central California.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Looks like facebook is at it again...they updated their EDGERANK system. Facebook has recently begun limiting a page’s post exposure by forcing administrators to pay to promote each post for a larger reach. To make sure you are seeing the daily posts and pictures in your news feed PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING:

1) Go to the facebook page
2) Hover your mouse over where it says “LIKED” and click on “ADD TO INTEREST LISTS”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Herman Griffith 1967

Jim Pewter, Herman Griffith and Roger Carroll
Herman Griffith kicked up a storm, with KGFJ and with AFRTS.  I wish I knew more of his story.  Roland Bynum says that Herman helped him get his job with us.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bolero Time 1970

On July 4, 1933, Graham gave a live interview with Amelia Earhart just prior to her Independence Day airplane flight from "View Park Airport" (LAX today) in Los Angeles
Vance Graham 1906-1984 had a pretty amazing career.  By 1931 he was working in Los Angeles radio.  During WWII, the bilingual Graham was recording programming for AFRS.
The Bolero Time broadcasts started in the 1950s at KMPC.  In the 1970s he decided to develop the Latino "Victor" character which he used  for Bolero Time and a similar program called Viva.

Adventures in Good Music 1970

Karl Haas at WJR
Classical music had a home on AFRTS.  The lead for that was Karl Haas.  He started his program in Detroit in 1959.  Somewhere in the early 60s it was picked up by AFRTS.  "Adventures in Good Music" became the world's most listened to classical music program.

The theme music for Adventures in Good Music was the 2nd movement from Beethoven's "Pathétique" Sonata (Sonata No. 8 in C minor), performed by Haas himself.