Sunday, May 27, 2012

AFN Pete Pittman and the Four Tops

Pete Pittman at AFKN

So once again I'm in envy of the AFN Germany guys.  When I was in Korea, I don't remember any big name talent visiting.  In the early 80s in Panama the only gringo stars that played were Roberta Flack, the New Supremes (starring nobody I ever heard of) and the Platters.  Hollywood Brown did stop by, but he only joined the group in 1967.  In Germany, the stars came out.

Pete Pittman stared this.  Pete had done tours in Korea, Alaska, Germany and at the network headquarters.  In another place here, Pete interviews Pat Boone.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

70th Birthday

May 26, 1942- The War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).  70 years of history.  Thanks to everyone.

LaRita Shelby

LaRita guested on the "Mother Love Radio Show" this week.

More about the show click here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

When I was at AFKN

I started in Yongsan in the newsroom.  If any story mentioned Korea, it had to be cleared by the 8th Army/UN Command PAO.  Send the story over, wait a few weeks and maybe it can be read... or just don't run it in the first place.  Compare that to this 1979 aircheck when President Park Chung Hee was assasinated.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

AFN Weekend World 1970 guest Jerry Naylor

There still is a little weekend left, it's time for "Weekend World" From Robert Barker's collection it's a November 1970 visit.  Charles Collier has rockabilly legend Jerry Naylor as his guest.  Jerry was the voice of the Crickets after we lost Buddy Holly.   In 1958 Jerry was one of ours at AFN Stuttgart and he talks a little about those years.

Jerry Lee Lewis with Jerry Naylor

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No over the air TV in Korea

AFN Korea has ceased over the air television broadcasting effective March 1, 2012.  It's possible to watch programming "downtown" but now requires a satellite decoder.  Largely it's the same story, manpower and programming restrictions.  An era has passed.

Stars and Stripes has details.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Command Performance 1944

An era we won't see again.  All Hollywood talent, the biggest recording stars.  Everyone had to perform for the troops.  Command Performance was the biggie.

The New Faces Show:

The first tune is, "The Trolley Song." The program features nineteen-year-old Jo Stafford, eighteen-year-old Gloria De Haven, thirteen-year-old Lois Butler. Cass Daley sings a very clever parody. Spencer Tracy (m. c.), The Pied Pipers, Jo Stafford, Gloria De Haven, Johnny Mercer, Lois Butler, Cass Daley, Ken Carpenter (announcer), June Hutton.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Communications pioneer retires after 51 years

Melvin Russell, acting director of  the Defense Media Activity and visionary of the American Forces Radio and Television Service, has retired after 51 years of military and civilian service.
Russell pioneered the expansion of AFRTS from a single-channel, over-the-air system into the multi-channel, satellite-delivered network that now reaches millions of viewers in 177 countries.
Russell came a long way from his days as an Army signal officer in Vietnam listening to sounds of home on the American Forces Network. He made the Army's first conversion from black-and-white to color television at Fort Benning, Ga. He assisted the British Army in setting up its first TV production facility and even helped CNN get off the ground