Friday, January 28, 2011

Chris Noel 1966 VIDEO

Never thought I'd see this, here's a couple of minutes of Chris Noel recording A Date With Chris

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What was radio?

I was writing a letter to Melvin and I thought I'd share:

When I was a kid, I had an old Grundig record player/tuner. In Minneapolis WDGY (Storz), KDWB (Drake) and KSTP were blowtorching at each other. Full service WCCO would pull 50 shares on a regular basis. I’d DX the evening trying for the furthest catch. Just not the same to hear a live stream from the internet and anyhow who really cares if they’re listening to a satellite feed from a station a thousand miles away. I guess some kids must get excited about radio today. I’m not sure why. Generic garbage, or sometimes someone mispronouncing voice tracks from far away.

A well recorded AM aircheck from the 60s sounds better than present day FM. It was part of the romance of radio. It was a friend. They’ve done so much to wreck AM and eventually managed to kill it. I’ve had line airchecks from WABC or WCFL that didn’t sound as good as an aircheck from a tuner. The sound chains were that good.

Radio was a contest. It was a life. It was a love. It was my career. I kicked tail it some markets and was bruised up in others, but it was a fight by people who cared playing by the same rules.

Armed Forces Radio is where I learned a lot of lessons and honed my skills. It would always be special.

The great stations were always a lot better than the sum of their parts, the magic and momentum. Now it’s an ipod with music that isn’t as good as on my ipod.

So what happened to it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GI Jive

GI Jill (Martha Wilkerson) was our first big DJ.  She was the voice of home to thousands.

The program continued well into the Korean War.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We get letters...

There's a lot of people who're interested:  If you saved anything, please let me know.

Hi Thom,

Thanks for sending these shows, but what I'd really like to hear would be some of the local shows by us guys who were military jocks. Do you have any air-checks of any of those shows?

I was at AFKN in Korea from 1971-75 and we had some super talented jocks come through there. Great memories! Those are the guys that I personally would really like to hear again. Any chance you can scare-up some old air-checks from any of us enlisted guys?

ALOHA from Tokyo,

-Kamasami Kong (a.k.a. PFC Robert Zix)

InterFM, Tokyo
KUMU, Honolulu


You’ve just explained the biggest problem, I’d love to run a lot more tape of us in the field but VERY little tape seems to have survived. In Germany, the civilians saved airchecks but I’m trying to not turn the whole thing over to AFN. Then when the tape does exist, it seems to take upwards of six months to actually get the tapes.

Did you save any AFKN tape? Please say yes. In 1978 I was at Ft Devens and working with JJ Gould. He was a true fan of your work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome! And trades....

There's a bunch of older things that have been donated and I'm trying to figure how interested you'd be in hearing them.  I plan on posting the occasional Command Performance or Mail Call or such.  The network started in 1943. When I was in Korea and later in Panama I'd go to the record library and listen to the classic material.  Wonderful things, but never really stored in a particular order.  Digging through the library was part of the fun.  Up until the mid 70s apparently there was a mostly complete library in Germany.  Must have been a thing to behold.

If you have some material that could use a new home, please let me know.  If you'd like to trade original material or copies, please let me know.  This material needs to be shared.  Email Thom (612) 356-AFRS

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I wish I could share these, but I just located the 1977 series and the Masked Minuteman series (did we run THAT one?), Chickenman cast in 1776... 

AFN in Afganistan is apparently STILL running these.  Great!

Dick Orkin makes the original 1966 ones available over at:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Laurie Allen

Welcome to the new year!  Laurie Allen has a look at two and a half decades of great rock and roll!

If you're looking for voiceover with style, or you'd like to hear some great demos be sure to visit Laurie's website: