Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mark White -AFN Berlin 1980

The late Mark White had his claim to King of Jazz.  He brought some wonderful music to Berlin for well over three decades.  Chris Muermann was a big fan at the time and recorded several of his broadcasts.  Garry made them available.  Today it's a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, coming to Berlin for a concert.  Mark, keep swinging...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

RIP Mark White

One of the great voices of radio history has been silenced. After spending a wonderful Christmas day with his family, Mark White went to bed and passed away in his sleep 12/29/2013. He would have been 89 on the 2nd of January. Mark was the manager of AFN Berlin from the 1950s until 1988. He left behind a great legacy and many friends. (David Glen Andersen facebook feed)

News Censorship at AFVN during the Vietnam War

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Melody Roundup 1944

Melody Roundup brought top Western talent.  This time with Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers.

Hard to tell what the source material was 78s, radio transcriptions, movie soundtracks. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

GI Jive - 1946

Martha Wilkinson was one of the first big stars of AFRS.  During WWII there was a show called "GI Jive", one of the DJ shows.  Pretty non-descript until Martha became GI Jill and the voice of home.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas and thank you for visiting.   It's been a nice year with family, my day job and people in general.  More and more people are stopping by every month so I guess it serves a purpose.

If you haven't checked in yet, you can email  afrts@live.com or facebook Thom Whetston or the afrtsarchive.blogspot.com page (click "Like" on that one).

Approximately every week I send out an email about what's new, sometimes asking questions, sometimes looking for people.  Just let me know if you'd like to be on the mailing list.

If you saved any recordings or memorabilia about the network, please let me know.  There are a lot of people that'd like to remember it.

Chris Noel

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Enchanted Keyboard - 1951

By the early 1950s radio had changed.  Prior to that the networks were doing great comedy, mystery variety shows and AFRTS could clip the commercials and send them out.  But now they were tasked with creating a lot of programs.  Many information and education programs were produced along with entertainment offerings.

"Enchanted Keyboard" was typical.  Classical piano with Don Thompson announcing.  Some wonderful talent was available to come in and play the piano.

On this broadcast, Edward Rebner

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ronnie Landry - 1959

Ron Landry, later of Hudson and Landry was drafted into the Army in 1958.  By 1959 he was doing a show on the network from AFRTS New York.

I was usually assigned with the infantry, this was a classic:

Jim Ameche - 1965

"The Most Beautiful Sounds Around"  Orchestral music just isn't heard anymore.  Jim Ameche brought it to AFRTS.

Jim was a huge star during the "Golden Days of Radio" and managed to stay very successful as a DJ.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We're back on the air.  About a week ago Comcast pushed out an update that killed my Motorola SGB6580.  I managed to get it back to defaults and running again.  I own my modem, rather than paying the 7 bucks every month.

Yesterday it was the same thing and I couldn't get it back online.

I spent four years working for Comcast, getting modems activated and online.  I do know this stuff.

Just wanted to let you know that Comcast and Motorola have a long history of not playing well on certain Motorola models.

On with the show...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

AFVN The Early Years - Adrian Cronauer

Adrian Cronauer explains the early years of AFVN and block programming.

Chris Noel Christmas 1969

Because of the way the transcription disks were sent out, there was no way to tell when they were actually broadcast... Except for Christmas week.  That week we would get disks with actual airdates.  They'd send them almost a month early to make that happen.

This was aired worldwide December 19, 1969

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good Morning Vietnam - the real story

Paul Bottoms  let me know about this:

"Adrian Cronauer, Tony Booth who was at AFKN in Korea and I gave a presentation in February 2011 for two days at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond."

Here's the first part:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

FEN - 1964 the start of the Vietnam War

Here's live coverage from FEN August 5th and 6th 1964 of the Gulf of Tonkin, pretty much the beginning of the Vietnam War.

Chris Noel - Christmas 1966

Chris had just started doing "Date With Chris" and it was the holiday season

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mosquito Network - The Ulithi Encyclopedia

During WWII we had a base in the Western Carolines and a LT (jg) John Vollbrecht  found the local Ulithi population interesting.  He studied them and presented talks on AFRS WVTY.  There was enough interest where the station published a book about the culture.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bob Hope - Christmas 1968 Long Binh

We've made it to December.  Christmas is coming. This is Bob Hope's 1968 Christmas show from Long Binh, Vietnam.  Whet was it like to be at one of these shows?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chris Noel - 1970

This certainly has been the biggest project.  Chris is letting us hear the disks she saved from her AFRTS run.  Great radio.  We're up to 1970.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Is The Story - Red Ball Express 1946

During the 1940s there were a lot of programs on the stateside networks that were educational, in a good way.  The best of these were repackaged by AFRTS.

This is the Story - "Red Ball Express" with Louis Calhern narrating.  Label notes it was originally broadcast on "Warriors of Peace", June 9, 1946.

This Is The Story - Red Ball Express 1946

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Colonel Robert Cranston - funeral 16 November 2013

Arlington, VA .....16 Nov ...(Special to the AFN Bulletin Board)
 93-year-old Colonel Robert Cranston, the "Iconic" G.I. Broadcasting officer with more than a quarter of a century of service to this country,  was laid to rest with full military honors on a green hillside, among many other fallen heroes, at Arlington National Cemetery Thursday, on a beautiful, late fall morning,  under a verdant blue sky,  as a gentle breeze whispered through the still colorful, fall foliage.
The burial service was conducted by Army Chaplin Captain Matt Madison, a three-tour veteran of the fighting in Afghanistan, who briefly, but completely, summarized Colonel Cranston's military career in the historic Old Post Chapel on Fort Myer, home of the Honor Guard, and immediately adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.  About 40 people attended the service at the chapel, including Sandra "Sandy" Cranston, the Colonel's widow, her two adult children and two of the Colonel's grandchildren.  There were nine people altogether in the family group.  Outside the chapel, prior to the service, as the Honor Guard was doing its last minute drilling, Piper Gustav "Gus" Person played a variety of tunes to the left of the main entrance.  Person, a retired Lt. Colonel in the Army,  and a bagpiper with The Alexandria City Pipes and Drums, served in Berlin during his military career, and was a regular listener to AFN Berlin.
 At least five former AFN  broadcasters also attended the burial, including Kayo Mullen aka Jack McCarthy, who flew from Central Florida to be present at the service.  Also in attendance was retired Navy Captain Maury Cagle, a former civilian AFN news editor, the current AFN Bulletin Board "co-webmistress," Judy Boysha, who took time off from her federal Video Production Chief job,  Shel Smith, who was hosting Kayo Mullen, and your reporter,  retired Army Pvt. Andrew Guthrie  As people did not wear name tags, there may well have been a few former AFNers in the group who were not recognized.  In addition to family friends of the Cranston's from Bedford County, Virginia, was a group of three or four retired officers from the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Officers Association Washington chapter, with whom Colonel Cranston served.
 Following the short service in the chapel, the Chaplin led the procession of the urn carrying Colonel Cranston's ashes out of the chapel, where the Third U. S. Army Band, "The Pershing's Own," played a salute as the urn was placed on the caisson for the procession to the cemetery.  At Colonel Cranston's request, the caisson was drawn by six white horses, and the traditional riderless horse, with upturned boots, led the procession to the burial side, about a quarter mile away.  The mourners were given time to return to their cars, and followed the caisson.  At the burial site, Chaplin Madison again welcomed the mourners, and recited verses from the Bible dealing with death and everlasting life.  Then the U.S. Flag that draped the caisson was undraped fully by the honor guard over the casket, then, with crisp precision, was folded into the all-too-familiar neat triangle, and Chaplin Madison presented it to Mrs. Cranston with some whispered remarks.
 This was followed by a volley of three shots fired by the Honor Guard, and then Taps, as the crowd and the troops, stood at attention, rendering the salute.  Immediately following Taps, the Cemetery official declared the burial over, and the Piper then played the traditional Scottish funeral aire, "Flowers of the Forest" as the crowd remained standing.  With the mourners then returning to their cars, the Piper played the stirring "Scotland the Brave."
 A reception was held after the burial at the Fort Myer Officer's Club, with a wide selection of hors d'oeuvres, including delicious hot crab dip on French bread.  There was punch for some, however many of the mourners elected to honor Colonel Cranston 's passing with a variety of single malt Scotch and other drinks.  The reception lasted at least an hour, during which Piper Person serenaded the group with more tunes on the bagpipe.  Following the reception, the  retired AFNers and the Cranston family group drove to Pat Troy's Ireland's Own Pub in the historic downtown area of Alexandria, a city founded in the mid 1700's by Scottish merchants when it was the tobacco port for Northern Virginia, in sending that cash crop to smokers on the continent.  Those of age partook of several glasses of Glenlivet 16 year-old single malt, and the four AFN veterans told the Colonel's grandchildren stories of their time at the Castle von Brunning in Hoechst and what life and broadcasting was like in the time they served under Colonel Cranston.
During the period prior to the service, your reporter passed out copies of Colonel Cranston's obituaries to the Honor Guard and to the members of the unit attending the horses that would carry the caisson to the burial site.  I also took the opportunity to tell one of the horses that he and his mates would be carrying a very special officer to his final resting site and that they should be proud.  He may have understood me.  I can tell all of you that several sergeants and the Captain of one of the several Honor Guard components, himself a veteran of a tour in Afghanistan, told me that no one, of the many burial parties for months before this one, (Arlington does 30 funerals every day!) had ever taken the trouble to inform the Guardsmen of the background of the officer they were honoring.  It occurred to me, that, as so many of us feel so deeply about Colonel Cranston, I did not want him to be, at his burial, yet another "anonymous"  military officer, to them,  but rather a man who's expansion of G. I. broadcasting had most likely been a part of their lives.  And several of them thanked me for including them.
Mrs.  Cranston, who is a real computer artist, produced, at the last minute,  a service program, with a color and black and white cover montage of Colonel Cranston's life  It was  beautiful, and inside was a brief history of his accomplishments.  In an effort to allow all of you to feel that you were with us at the burial, not just "in spirit" I am including an attachment of the lovely program.  Please understand that Sandy did this in just a day or two, so bear with her in the misspelling of Fort Meyer.  It was an outstanding achievement!
For your information, you reporter wore his ancient Guthrie tartan kilt, with the Pfc. stripes on the jacket that Colonel Cranston purchased for me on his 90th birthday, and four ribbons, about which the Colonel took the trouble to write to me, when I told him I never got a single medal at the end of my service.  He even included a catalogue with each one circled! 
Sadly and respectfully,
Army Pfc. (by Colonel's order) Andrew Guthrie (Ret.) AFN Headquarters Newsroom 1960-'61 Frankfurt am Main Hoechst

AFTN - New show preview 1969

There are some great new shows coming up to celebrate 1969 on AFTN!

Friday, November 22, 2013

1945 AFN scripts

A couple of weeks ago I heard about this.  Some personal papers that seemed to have some AFN scripts from the 40s.  I did the deal.  The owner turned out to be in Minneapolis so I could pick them up and get the history (provenance is rarely available) .  Jack Pratt led the ATC Orchestra after Glenn Miller.  These were a batch of his personal papers. The ATC band toured Europe after the war.  It was some incredible history and yes a bunch of AFN scripts.  Countdown shows, T/5 Mickey Rooney in a show and this one.  Jack Benny went to Europe during his summer break in 1945 and did a show exclusively for AFN (anyone have audio of this???)

I'm just happy to be able to give it a home.  Now how to share it...

Chris Noel - 1969

The weekend is almost here.  Chris Noel has memories of 1969

Chris's new book is out "Filming the Glory Stompers: Behind the scenes with Dennis Hopper"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AFN Bremerhaven 1993 - Bill Boyd

Time for good morning, 1993 style.  Here's Bill Boyd at the "PowerStation"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Melody Roundup - Spade Cooley

He made some pretty amazing music and performed for the troops a lot.  Take a listen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The AFRTS Story - 1962

In 1962 the network sent out their 20th anniversary broadcast.  Marvin Miller does a wonderful job.  Only thing that puzzles me is the muddy transfers of shows from the 1940s.   Good listening, time to reenlist!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post 1000

1,000 posts.  A bare minimum of 500 hours to listen to everything again.  Thank you for your part in our history.  Thank you for visiting.  Thank you for visiting our sponsors.  Be sure to tip the waitstaff!

AFN - Dave Malone - 1978 CMA Awards

We're up to the last part of the 1978 Network wide broadcast to celebrate the CMA awards.  From Frankfurt, here's Dave Malone.

Thanks Hans Knot for making these available!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Golden Days Of Radio - War Of The Worlds

Frank Bresee is back with another look at radio's golden days.  Today it's part two of War Of The Worlds


AFN Berlin - Rik De Lisle 1978 CMA Awards

AFN's tribute to the 1978 CMA awards continues from Berlin with Rik De Lisle.

Small World - George Church - 1965

Some light music, interviews and companionship.  It's Small World with George Church.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Adventures in Good Music - 1970

Detroit's Karl Haas was excited about his job.  For many years he put excitement into music from long gone composers.

AFRTS brought it worldwide.  Here's a 1970 visit.

Friday, October 25, 2013

AFKN Reunion

To: Thom Whetston
From:Brian Hartzell
Sent:Mon 10/21/13 10:27 PM
To: Thom Whetston (afrts@live.com)
I've been chatting with a couple of ex-AFKN vets who would like me to reopen the question of organizing an AFKN Reunion sometime in 2014 (probably September or October).  

Could you send out an email or Facebook message asking former AFKN staffers to make some suggestions as to what city (or part of the country) they would prefer such a reunion to be held? It is thought that we would have more success if we hosted the reunion in a city that is centrally located, although I don't necessarily believe that is true.  We are open to suggestions.

I, for instance, live in Ohio.  I know you live in Minnesota.  Dave McAlary lives in northern Virginia. Gary Theiman lives in southern California.  Etc., etc.  Some of our associates also live in Texas (seems popular to many as a retirement favorite).

Any thoughts...care to be a part of this conspiracy?

Brian E. Hartzell
Hartzell Consulting
"Fundraising & Public Relations Counsel to Nonprofits since 1979"

AFN SHAPE - Clark Taylor CMA Awards 1978

Continuing the CMA Awards from all of the network stations.  Clark Taylor does his part from the Benelux

At AFN-SHAPE,  I did the morning show for two years and since I was an experienced interviewer, I was tasked to interview most celebrities coming through Paris, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam.  So I met Jerry Lewis the actor in Paris, Abba and Barry Manilow in Holland and Merle Haggard and many others in Rotterdam (http://cflradio.net/clark_taylor_bio.htm

Thursday, October 24, 2013

FEN - Teens on Parade - 1960

The kids were dancing on the weekend in Tokyo.  From 1960 Dave Robinson and Ray Goodwin hosting a live show fun for the dependents.  Danny and the Red Coasters is our in studio band.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

AFN Munich 1981 from a listener

Why was it so important to listen to AFN?  You know, listening to AFN was more than radio - radio was the "Bayerischer Rundfunk" in Munich but THEY  made the music - the listeners in Germany had no contact to the DJs in former days -  so you could not take part in this show... you know?

And then we discovered AFN - very late, when i was over 18 , but you know in former days me as a 18 year old boy was like 16 year old today -

The thing, why AFN was so important for me and my twin brother was, that there where Americans out there on the radio in the Request Show you could talk to - we called in every day and the DJs knew us from our names - and they played the songs for us - that was amazing!

And then one day I met Dick Dale, I just walked to Kaulbachstrasse (AFN Munich) ringed the bell and he opened... And I took part in his show - he smoked 20 cigarettes in 2hours - it was really stress -  before this day I had no idea how much stress is a Request-Show - he was alone in the studio!)

The other thing was: we improved our English - no, our American! I didn't like the "sound" of the British English in school - and I loved the smooth American language - but teachers  didn't! So, tell me, where could you listen to the American Language in Germany? Only on AFN!


I used American words like truck and not lorry, I pronounced "after" like an American not like a British - this was a process of individualization and emancipation from school - and with the DJs we had Americans, we could ask short questions about the American language - yes really, we did, if we had questions - and got answers.

Today I'm proud to have listened to AFN Munich in the early  80ties - it was the best radio-time of my life!


Charlie Tuna (i loved the country count down)  Wolfman Jack, or the great Casey Kasem from the American top 40 - but the best where the Request Shows in AFN Munich.


I still have this in my ear: Its 4:05 p.m. the news ended - and the music of the film "Dallas" appeared (that was E. Wattson) and he said":


"Hi there, I'm air force sergeant Everard Wattson, welcoming you on a Thursday afternoon here on AFN Munich - if you wanna here a song, gimme a call, my telephone number is 6194 and if you're calling from a civilian phone its 6229-6194, and I'll try to get it on for you"


Imagine - I remember this fluently today  - 30 years later....



Have a nice  weekend,


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AFN 1978 Country Music Awards - Jim Johnson

Our tribute to the 1978 Country Music awards continues (Thanks Hans Knot).  This time we go to AFN Bremerhaven and Jim Johnson

Just Music - 1967

Peaceful music for the dinner hour?  Music to keep the Colonels off our back?  We ran a lot of it.  During WWII we had a program called "At Ease", 15 minutes of uninterrupted orchestral music.  In 1967 it was the same thing, called "Just Music". 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sound Off - Bill Goodwin 1942

Here's the other side of a disk from a couple of months ago.  Before we had a network the government was sending radio shows to the field.  Announcer Bill Goodwin shows us a precursor to American Top 40:


Friday, October 4, 2013

AFN - Dick Beacham - Country Awards Show

Hans sent this one in.  In 1978 AFN Europe celebrated the Country Music Awards with a series of shows from all over the network.  Here's Dick Beacham with the first part


Monday, September 30, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Army Hour - 1963 "Korea, A Decade of Courage"

AFKN was an Army "Meritorious Unit".  Everyone was authorized an additional ribbon while there.  The ribbon was authorized because of the war coverage.  Troops went to the field with huge tube powered recorders.  I've heard short clips of this before but this is the most complete version that I've ever heard.

The Army Hour was on NBC during WWII, ending up on Mutual by the 1960s. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Colonel Robert Cranston to be Buried at Arlington

Andrew Guthrie AFN 1960-62 has an update.  If you can be in there, you should.
20 September 2013
FINALLY I am able to report that our beloved commanding officer, Colonel Robert Cranston will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at about noon on the 14th of November.  There will be a memorial service beginning at 11 AM at the Chapel on the Cemetery Grounds, followed by the burial beginning at approximately noon.
I got a call from Sandy Cranston last (Thursday 19th) night with the word.  She was relieved at finally getting a firm date after waiting all summer.  Sandy and I, frankly, are disappointed that the service could not have been in October, since the weather in Washington that month is usually quite nice, and cool and crisp.  November can begin to get chilly, although I assume one has to wait one's turn with the Cemetery as there are so many burials.
I have been in touch with the Drum Major of the Alexandria, VA Bagpipe Band and he told me that it will not be possible for the band to play at a burial during the week, as most of the men work.  However he is giving me a list of several Master pipers and I am sure that I will be able to find one who is available.  One of you, who served under Colonel Cranston, sent me a very generous check to defray the cost of the piper several months ago.  I plan to contribute as well and, if there is a need for addition funds, I will put out a notice on the Bulletin Board.  However, please do not send me any money until I find out exactly what it is going to cost.
I would like to urge as many of you who served under Colonel Cranston to try and save the day so you can attend.  That welcome also goes out to all of you who know him only by his outstanding service record as AFN Commander, Blue Danube Network Commander, and later as Commanding officer of the entire  A F R T S  at North Mcadden Place in Los Angeles.
I will be sending out additional information as I get it and very much look forward to seeing you there even though it will be a sad and emotional day for all of us.  One thing that has already irritated me and Sandy, given my own and Bob's Scottish heritage, is that a person at the Cemetery has said the piper will be quite limited as to the times he may play.  That runs counter to Scottish Military tradition, which would have him at the front of the caisson  and the honor guard.   For Bob's sake, we will try to change this.  For those of you with access to AFNers and AFRTS folks who may not be on this Bulletin Board, would you please pass around this news as widely as possible, especially to men and women who may have known the Colonel but who are in, or retired from, non-broadcasting military units.
For now, God Bless you all, and have a pleasurable Autumn!
Army Pfc. (by Colonel's order) Andrew Guthrie (Ret.)
AFN Hqts. Newsroom 1960 - '61
Frankfurt am Hoechst
Andrew N Guthrie

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Moog logos

This would be from roughly 1971. Parts of this have been posted before but this is complete.  The "TotalSound" Moog-logos.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sports Reel with Fred Hessler 1968

At one time presenting live news and sports was much more difficult than now.  There was a market for interview shows that provided context.
Fred Hessler was the voice of UCLA football for 25 years but before that was one of us.  During WWII he was with AFRS at an unknown station but after that went to the network as a civilian for about 10 years.  In 1954 he did Sports Forum, an interview show.

He also worked at KMPC 1953-83

In 1968 he was still at it with "Sports Reel"

Fred Hessler - 1968

Saturday, September 7, 2013

AFN Munich - Dick Dale 1981

And now "The Old Sarge"
I started like most, joining the Service, then attended Armed Forces Radio School, in Ft Ben. Harrison. That was by far..... the Best Schooling, anyone could receive. Bar None.  I was in the Service for only the 3 years enlistment. Spent all of my time, in Europe, except for one Year.. I'm thinking, was "On The Air" for Two of those Years. My final Year, was spent in the Information Office, on Okinawa/Japan.
Following my ETS, worked in Lexington, Ky, Sioux City, Iowa, and Kansas City.

That's It.
Retired from Radio, in 2008. I'm currently living in Northern California.
Many times I've been asked if I'm the Dick Dale, of the Del-Tones. (Misserloo)

I just say "No.....but I can play Wipe Out, with my thumbs on the Dashboard of
My Car" That usually ends the conversation!
Best Regards,
Dick Dale

Friday, September 6, 2013

Brian Hartzell - AFKN 1972

My AFKN story isn't the most exciting, although I enjoyed my nine-plus month tour of duty in the Land of the Mourning Clam. Arrived in country the day after Thanksgiving 1972.  Was assigned to AFKN News, prepared and announced newscasts for AM radio, occasionally assigned to handle a "Ten O'Clock News" on weekend  TV and the all-important "Newsbeat: Korea" which I once called "Nosebleed Korea" on-air (purely by accident).  After about five months, I asked for a transfer to serve as Program Director for AFKN-FM which was pretty much a one-man job programming the FM automated system, create some one-hour programs, etc.  

I worked with Bobby Zix (now Kamasami Kong in Japan), Jim Kane (AF-SSG who moved on to AFN-Ramstein, etc.) and Dave McAlary (career at VOA) and Wally Cornelison (who went back to AFKN in the role of civilian director of TV operations), both retired and still in touch on occasion.  Bruce Dortin was a contemporary. Have lots of stories, but little tape.  

Somewhere, oh, somewhere, I've got a couple of reel-to-reel tapes with airchecks  that I thought might be helpful finding a part-time radio job during grad school, but never used them.  My broadcasting career was brief. I got the assignment originally because I had radio experience in college and a few months before the lottery called my number.

Received early discharge in late August 1973 to attend graduate school at Kent State (just three years after the shootings). Studied journalism/public relations. Went into public relations counseling full-time for eight years, switched to non-profit work as executive director of two Ronald McDonald Houses, gaining fundraising skills over 19 years.  Worked in fundraising for two additional hospitality house programs (another ten years), then a hospice and finally as a consultant (now) as I approach semi-retirement. 

Brian E. Hartzell
Hartzell Consulting
"Fundraising & Public Relations Counsel to Nonprofits since 1979"