Friday, July 26, 2013

Jubilee 1945

 JUBILEE 157 has on it  LIONEL HAMPTON : "Air Mail Special" and "Hey Bobba Rebop" "Hamp's Boogie Woogie" LENA HORNE: "You Go To My Head" DELTA RHYTHM BOYS: "920 Special". Also the famous ROCHESTER from the Jack Benny Show and star athletes JOE LEWIS, MAXI BEAR and MAXI ROSENBLOOM doing a comedy skit

Thursday, July 25, 2013

AFVN Bruce Wahl 1970

AFVN Detachment 3
Bruce volunteered for an electronics MOS and was trained as a missile guidance system repairman, but shortly thereafter he was selected for OCS, and received his commission at Fort Benning in April 1969.  His first assignment was as Executive Officer in a Basic Training Company at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and this was followed 8 months later by an assignment to Vietnam.  For the next four months he served as Battalion Training Advisor at the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Infantry Officer Candidate School in Thu Duc.  This ended in April 1970 when he was promoted to First Lieutenant and reassigned to AFVN as Commander of Detachment 3 in Pleiku.
This was right up Bruce's alley.  It was like Br'er Rabbit in the briar patch.  Since childhood, a career in radio was all he ever wanted.  Although only 21 years old, he had an FCC license by virtue of several years' experience in commercial and college radio.  His first assignment at Pleiku, however, was a tough one.  The station used worn and outdated equipment, and his job was to improve the maintenance and update the facilities.
Through intricate negotiations, including official requisitioning and unofficial scrounging, Bruce built a TV studio with two state-of-the-art cameras, also he remodeled the radio studio and built a second fully-equipped radio studio, replaced the TV transmitter, built a shed over the equipment van, improved the barracks, and repainted the building with a colorful floral design, and . . . he waxed the floors.
Returning to the civilian side of life in 1971, Bruce knew he wanted to stay in radio, so he hunted a job in the Washington, DC area where he had grown up.  There was a new radio network, of sorts, still in the developmental stage, and he thought it had potential.  He applied for a job, and soon became one of the very first employees of National Public Radio.  He worked in engineering, and was a part of the first production of "All Things Considered" on 3 May 1971.
In 2008 Bruce was elected mayor of Chesapeake Beach.
While Bruce continues his NPR job, wife Becky manages a local housing complex.  The Wahl's have two daughters and two sons, and the Mayor is proud of his four grandchildren.
Biographical information from our friends at www, 
AFVN Bruce Wahl 1970

It appears to have been recorded from midnight - 1am on Sunday 16th August, 1970.  Bruce gives the time, and the date can be established from the Whitehall, Columbus OH bombing story in the news.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Stan Major - AFN Frankfurt 1954-56

AFN was a big deal. I was one of the of about a few dozen who did public service announcements in between records or played DJ to the average 22 million listening every time you opened a mic!

That’s right...I think that’s the number they told us. Radio in Germany and France and Spain etc. was so bad that the Europeans took to listening to AFN by the droves.

We became “stars” overnight. My favorite thing was to loudly call out some of my companions by name as we stood in the line for a movie or seat in a restaurant. “Hey Nick Clooney....what’s this film about!”or...“anybody want Ray Van Steen’s autograph?”and...“It’s the one and only Steve Binder from AFN!” the guys were not too happy with me but we WERE all amazed at the huge reaction to our presence. I mention these three guys cause they all went on to become famous and successful in later life.
Nick Clooney, (b.g...before George) was big in radio in his hometown of Cincinnati...and even bigger as a news anchor in at NBC TV Los Angeles and a movie host on AMC. Ray Van Steen went to Chicago and ended up being a spokesman on the Allstate spots(I think) and becoming one of the top advertising guys in the business.. and Steve Binder became Elvis’ tv producer/director and you don’t get bigger than that. We also had Alan Landsburg at AFN. He would go to LA and end up doing the biography TV series....and some really award winning huge documentary series...and one god-awful Jaws sequel which I’m sure he’d like to forget!

It was amazing...the true talent we had at AFN Frankfurt in 1954-56. I think the best times we had were sitting on the castle’s moat wall overlooking the Mainz River and drinking our Hennigerbrau Beer thru the wee small hours and talking about home...our families....and whatever. Good times there. Not to be enjoyed again.

Anyone who was going to be on the air at AFN had to be cleared for “top secret”. I had no idea why...but that’s the way it was. You don’t ask questions...just give them the answers. About the time they wanted my Grandmother’s birth place and date I was happy it ended!
Clooney told me later, after we got back... when we were cleaning race horse stables at 5AM near Lexington, Kentucky...that the announcers actually set off the alerts in Europe. We would be about to go on the air early in the morning and some non-com would bring in a public service announcement to replace the one scheduled (I remember this happening on my shift a few times)
and that announcement contained a military code...a sentence or phrase... which when heard on the air would set the entire American military(and maybe British and French too) into action and on alert. And I didn’t know we did that until Nick told me back in the states.

My tour ended in April 1956...but in 1961 I got a nice severance check from WJJD Chicago and flew back to Germany to check on things at the castle. some of the civilian honchos were still there...and they laughed and said I wasn't the only former AFN'er to make the trek back.

Visit Stan's blog

Sunday, July 21, 2013

AFN has cool promo items

When I was doing this on the other side of the mic, one of my biggest complaints was the lack of promo items.  Sean sent a bundle of what they're doing now.  Stickers, temporary tattoos, bags, pencils, key chains and such.  Promo items have always re-enforced the branding.  More and more like stateside radio, in a good way..

Melody Roundup - Roy Acuff

Melody Roundup was the "country show",  In the 1940s many local stations did live country programs.  Sometimes they'd send copies to AFRS.  The network would edit these to fit in the 15 minute program.

Roy Acuff was country music from WWII until well through the 1980s.  Lets visit Roy in 1945.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sugar Report 1945

This one was sure a story.  Sugar Report was apparently never sent out on vinyl.  Each disk apparently unique and broadcast on shortwave at the time.  Bakedalaska got this one for us, thanks for the donation!.  When it came in there was a thick gray film and severe chipping and cracking.  Doing anything aggressive to remove the film will cause the chips to come off.  So... I gently cleaned it as best I could and did a transfer.  It was noisy but mostly complete.  With that being done, I tried a much better cleaning.
Acetate disks are actually made of organic cellulose.  When stored poorly something called palmyric acid leeches into the grooves.  That's important because it looks like a normal dirt.  Warm water and soap tends to make it worse.  Water with a small concentration of vinegar will dissolve it.  Windex is pretty close.  Most of it dissolved,  Noise reduction removed the majority of the pops but it was still rough.  The pops were places where the cellulose was actually cracked.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AFN Bremerhaven 1992

In 1992 AFN Bremerhaven took the Keith L Ware award.
Here's why:

Great sounding station!  Thanks Bill Boyd!

Jim Ameche 1964

Sometimes I miss "beautiful music", orchestral arrangements mostly of pop songs of the 1930s-1960s.  It was the rhythm of the grocery stores.  AFRTS had a history of playing it, going back to WWII.  Carrying the mantle in the 1960s was Jim Ameche.  Jim had been a big radio star in the "Golden Days of Radio" but his big success was being the first to nationally syndicate a DJ show. 

In 1964, we heard "The Best Sounds Around"

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chiquita 1949

We tried to serve all soldiers.  Part of that being our native Spanish speaking troops.  Chiquita debuted during WWII and was still going strong in the 1950s.  I'm trying to locate more information about her.  Apparently she had some small movie roles in the 1940s.

Gracias amiga por todo!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

AFKN 1969 Year End Show - Roger Schulman

And now from Yongsan, Roger Schulman who later did big things in Tampa radio.  In 1969 he escorted us through decades of hits!.
I can't find a current location for Roger, but this was a couple of years ago:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

AFN Berlin - Mark White 1967

Mark White went to AFN during the 1950s and stayed to be the voice of America to several generations.  Here's Mark with some swinging sounds, 1967