Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clem Shamus "Ballad of The Plain Steel Pot"

When I was at AFKN in the 2d Division in 1977, someone came up with a 45rpm copy of Ballad of the Plain Steel Pot by Clem Shamus. It was popular I was curious and Clem is fan of the blog, I asked him about it:

Clem Shamus from the 1966 AFKN yearbook

Hi Thom, I wrote Ballad of the Plain Steel Pot while at AFKN in 1966. I took a leave and flew to San Antonio, TX to record it for Brazos Records. "Green Beret" was hot (became #1 for the year), but Brazos got tied up with Xmas music for kids and didn't get it out until the spring of 67. I was of course back in Korea (NCOIC of radio in Seoul) and had no control of any kind so I don't know what, if any promotion, distribution or anything about it. They sent me 500 copies and they were sold and the money donated to an orphanage. It was impossible to get around to promote it over there and I of course was busy with the day job.

Update: Clem's wife shared the following with the AFVN group:

"Clem passed away yesterday 5/27/12. He was totally at peace with the very difficult decision he made. It was peaceful and surrounded by the ones that loved him most. Myself, 3 of 5 children and his brother
and sister-in-law."

AFN Jack Benny Memorial 1974

Does Radio still do documentaries? PBS televison here was celebrating the life of Jack Benny. We lost Jack in 1974. Herb Glover and AFN had a tribute on the air almost immediately. Great work.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

105 year old AFRS network vet is still around

Pete Peterson with Lauren Becall

Pete Peterson was the first head of AFRS,
He's 105 years old, and still around.

A radio show with no listeners. Camp Casey 1977

Korea 1977, about six months after Operation Paul Bunyan so the paranoia level was high.  As an excercise they moved the 2nd Infantry Division south of Uijongbu for the day.  Pretty much everything except the DMZ guards.  Except me.  Division demanded that I stay and do a show so the North Koreans wouldn't notice that as being different.  So for 3 hours I'm rocking, and so is the quonet hut because there's a steady stream of Mech vehicles driving by and helicopters flying over.  The station at Camp Casey was on the main road.  When it was over, quiet.  Spooky quiet,  A handful of guards between me and the commies.  I had worked in small markets, closed circuit stations, a high school station.  That was the day I did a show for no audience.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

AFVN Det 5 anniversary 02/05/2012

 From Robert Moorecook at the  AVFN Yahoo group.

Today is the 44th year after Det 5 Hue was overrun.
I encourage you to take a moment to remember this brave men who served there.

American Forces Vietnam Network - AFVN
Prisoners of War
Six men assigned to AFVN were taken prisoner during the Vietnam war, five spending about five years in captivity before being released. The sixth, Steven Stroub, was executed shortly after capture. The AFVN'ers were captured when the detachment at Hue was overrun -- following a fierce fire fight during the Tet holiday -- on Feb 5, 1968.

Two other men also died that day at AFVN. SGT Thomas Franklin Young, USMC was Killed in Action in that fight. Also killed that day was Courtney Niles, a civilian with NBC International, who died defending the station. One AFVN'er escaped.

Details follow --

John Thomas Anderson - POW

John Bagwell - Escaped

James V. Di Bernardo - POW

John A. Deering - POW

Harry Lawrence Ettmueller - POW

Donat J. Gouin - POW

Courtney Niles, Civilian Contractor - Killed in Action

Steven J. Stroub - Captured and Executed

Thomas Franklin Young - Killed in Action

More information at Robert's website