Friday, September 17, 2021

Redd Harper 1948


Redd was a part of a concert band that became more and more successful until they were invited to join an Oklahoma City radio station in 1924. From there, his career took off and his music was in greater demand. In 1931 he joined a larger radio station in Des Moines, found more success, and then decided to head to Hollywood, California. However, he arrived at the end of the Western Jazz era and the beginning of the Great Depression, thus finding it hard to find work and was not as successful as he had been. He struggled to find work in the city. When World War II started, he joined the Coast Guard for three years.  After the war, Redd was doing shows for AFRS.
After the war he found success again in Hollywood as he began working with other big name artists of the time from both radio and movies. During this time he also found success in the movie industry and starred in several films, including The Strawberry Roan.

Mary Turner 1991


Mary Turner

Time to rock with Mary Turner.  An AOR daily show, it was quite the scandal in the early 80s and great.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Roland Bynum 1981


KJLH 102.3's Roland Bynum and James Fields The musicman hanging out at The Taste of Soul L.A. a few years ago!

Roland still makes it happen on Stevie Wonder's KJLH in Los Angeles every Saturday morning.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Operation Little Vittles 1949

 In the late 40s AFRS did a lot of stories about the people side of war.  Operation Little Vittles was a part of the Berlin Airlift. America got candy to kids.

The story is dramatized in this broadcast:

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Wolfman Jack 1972


Just picked up a bunch of random Wolfman Jack Air Force shows.
Happy listening!


Thursday, September 2, 2021

AFVN Your Brother 1969


 Bob Mayben sent in a neat AFVN memory: "I was company clerk for the 43rd APU (Post Office). I have a 30 minute air check of “Your Brother” on AFVN DaNang that I recorded at the 80th Logistical Command in the Arts and Crafts shop."

Monday, August 30, 2021

Ira Cook 1965


Ira was yet another Minnesotan, from Duluth.  He was an actor, composer and DJ.  His compositions include  "Pony Tail", "Sunday Barbeque", and "Your Theme" among  others .His Los Angeles broadcasting career spanned 26 years, sixteen of which were at KMPC. He served in the US Army during World War II. Ira started with AFRTS in 1961.  He retired in the early 1980s.  We lost Ira in 2007.

Joe Ferguson 1983


Joe Ferguson checking in from Portland OR and KUPL with The Joe Show.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Birth Of Armed Forces Radio

 Midge England sent the following and it's great:

I found it! Our PCAN origins. The whole story. It is a good thing I belong to newspaper archives for my genealogy research. Now I understand the reason why AFRTS (AFN) has no records of our origins. We created AFRS. Not the other way around. When they destroyed the records at SCN, they destroyed the origins of the AFN. The person who gave that order destroyed the history of the entire network. PCAN was responsible for the creation of AFRS.

I am attaching the newspaper articles I found. You ALL need to read these.

In April 1941, a group of artillery soldiers took it upon themselves to start PCAN (Panama Coast Artillery News) and PCAC (Panama Coast Artillery Corps)
The artillery soldiers decided to set up two little 50 watt radio stations for the 30,000 artillery soldiers spread through the jungles of Panama building artillery defense for the canal zone. The little stations were operated by the Jarman Junglemen Artillery Corps named after their beloved Major General Sandeford Jarman. The Jungleers created their own unofficial call letters which essentially belonged to the Signal Corps. They created their own radio stations to provide entertainment and news for the 30,000 soldiers spread through the jungle. They operated 4 hours per day.

A few months later, MSG Clay Doster, editor of the Artillery News sent a letter to NBC's "Blue Network" requesting some old recordings and transcriptions for their little stations to air for the troops. The vice president of NBC who received their letter was a former Doughboy and decided to adopt the two little 50 watt stations as honorary affiliates of the NBC "Blue Network". They immediately sent 1000 recordings weighing one ton, to the 2 stations. The President of NBC went on the air to personally welcome the adopted stations to the NBC network as honorary affiliates in a two hour special program nationwide on Sept 11, 1941 to tell the public PCAN's colorful story along with several guest celebrities. I found about 5 newspaper articles about this. I have attached them.

Clearly embarrassed by this situation after NBC "Adopted" the soldiers whose needs were not being provided for, the military decided to create a network to provide radio services to their soldiers, many fighting the wars overseas or protecting our territories, by creating the AFRS network a year later. PCAN was their first station... before AFRS ever existed. This is why AFN was missing the records for the origins of SCN because we existed before they did. And because some unthinking person ordered the destruction of our records... all of that history was lost. I'm grateful that the NBC President decided to make a big deal out of the event and made sure our story was in the newspapers and on national radio with a huge two hour, celebrity studded welcoming program just for PCAN & PCAC as their new adopted affiliates. That is the only reason the story was in the papers for us to recover the history. This really put the military on the spot for not providing an organized source of entertainment and news to their troops.

So a year after the soldiers had built their own radio stations... the military was embarrassed into creating AFRS. Now I need to correct and update our history. It is a crying shame it was lost. It needs to be returned to its true place in the origins and history of AFN.

Here are newspaper articles with the entire story of PCAN and the NBC adopting them and the welcoming 2 hours special program aired nationwide. These are from newspapers in Canton, Ohio and New Orleans, etc.


Roger Carroll 1981

 I'm grateful that Roger made so many great shows and made them available to us. 
Today it's memories of 1981.  If you have any of Roger's Christmas shows please contact me!