Monday, August 15, 2016

Jim Pewter - Civilians and AFN


Our friend Chris was growing up in Frankfurt in the 70s and taped a lot of AFN. No way to put a date with any certainty on this, but here's a bunch of Jim Pewter.





You might well choose to re-phrase slightly, emphasizing that I was a German kid, and that - as a lot of German kids then - listened to AFN as a daily routine, which helped in improving our English significantly (I have had with some of my teachers a running battle when using american slang, instead of proper (university-style) English as they had been taught); pretty sure US-service people were unaware of Germans being part of their general audience!



Quite a few forums exist in which Germans emphasize the significant contribution AFN had on them and their lives, it is mentioned there that per year about 100.000 letters were pouring in to AFN in Germany, of which the bigger part was probably AFN Frankfurt (the APO number was I believe APO 057), and I remember getting one of my postcards actually being put "on the air" (you got that clip on the DVD as well, when Jim Powers - the Bostonian -  presents "Baby Child" by Robin Luke "going out to Christoph in Offenbach, who hit it right on the head when he said that the most important bridge is "The bridge over troubled water".
Another German ex-AFN-listener - and I believe he has got a definite point on that  - actually attributes the German radio-system targeted at young people as it still is today to the very existence of AFN and Germans listening to it!




The German public radio stations ran along the lines of the federal states, and were very much targeted to the mature establishment with German Schlager and orchestras. As young Germans were listening to AFN (and BFBS) with their stylish, amusing way of presenting modern (i.e. non-German) music, those national chains had to develop similar offerings in order not to loose their grasp on future audience. These turned out to be the "third program series" such as HR3 in Frankfurt, WDR3 in Dusseldorf, SWR3 in Stuttgart, etc. that today are actually the lynch-pins of their programs!


I remember as of early 1970s, these made big inroads into the German listeners-base of AFN, with SWR3 being the first specifically youth-oriented radio coming "on the air" with music and presenting techniques very much reminiscent to "my" AFN.

Still, I remained faithful to AFN as You see from the tapes.


regards
Christoph