Thursday, February 27, 2014

Johnny Grant - Small World 1967

Small World was a lot like Monitor, light music, interesting features tied together with talent.  George Church was the first host (discovering Chris Noel).  After George was Johnny Grant.  Johnny did a lot of programs for AFRTS.

Defense Secretary William S. Cohen greets Johnny Grant, Hollywood's ceremonial mayor and a veteran of 54 USO tours, during a military concert in Beverly Hills, Calif. Grant was the master of ceremonies of the Nov. 30 concert, hosted by DoD and the USO to honor the Hollywood film industry

Johnny Grant joined the Army Air Corps during World War II, hosting a daily radio show in New York City for servicemen and women. During this time, he interviewed many entertainment stars who were in the city. After his discharge, he stayed in New York, working as a reporter for station WINS.

Having moved to California, Grant appeared as a disc jockey on Los Angeles area radio stations KGIL (1949–50) and KMPC (1951–59)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Charlie Tuna - 1982

Charlie Tuna addresses the masses with Bobby Ocean looking on
In 1982, I would have been finishing up my show on SCN and running this disk.  Charlie Tuna... stay tuna'd...

Wolfman Jack - 1975

If you get the chance read "Border Radio".  It's the story of mammoth powered stations just over the border in Mexico.  That's where Wolfman cut his teeth and became a legend.  These guys would be paid by how much product they sold.  The good ones made a lot of money.  Wolfman Jack made a lot of money.  After that, the big time and AFRTS.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Chris Noel - 1970

By 1970 the music was rocking and Chris Noel made it happen.  You have a "Date With Chris"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

One Night Stand - 1944

Normally One Night Stand was re-packaged radio remotes for the troops but in 1944 Esquire Magazine had a vote on the best jazz talent.  There was one of the best all star shows ever.  AFRS was there.

This part of the program originates from Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles. The first tune is, "Mood To Be Wooed." Lionel Barrymore presents an Esky award to Duke Ellington. Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown, Harry Carney and Ray Nance also receive awards. . Jerome Kern presents an Esky award to Billie Holiday, Danny Kaye presents awards to Al Casey and Sidney Catlett. Halfway through this program, the AFRS announcer mentions that the nationwide Blue net portion of the broadcast has been concluded and the rest of the show is for the AFRS audience only

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Chat with Pete Pittman

Pete with Willie Nelson (on the left)
Pete Pittman was on AFRTS in Korea, Germany and Alaska.  Did the mandatory PAO time and even worked for the film branch in Los Angeles.  Musician, actor... That's a start.  It's a great story.

Gary Owens - 1967

From the big 810, here's the insegrevious Gary Owens.

Roger Carroll - 1981

Roger has the Best Sounds in Town on this 1981 visit.  Thanks for the memories...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jim Ameche - 1965

Jim Ameche had the most beautiful sounds around.  An hour of orchestral music, with just the right touch of personality.  Jim had knocked around in radio since the 1930s but hit his stride with syndicated DJ shows starting in the 1950s.  As the man that made syndicated DJ shows work he was a natural for the world's largest radio network.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Roland Bynum - 1983

Roland's back and the Friday starts now!

These were the promo pictures in the halls/offices of the stations worldwide (thanks Pete!)

FEN Jim Harmon 1969

Stephen Weber brings us this memory.  It's 1969, the 24th anniversary of FEN and a Wonderful Weekend with Jim Harmon.  Jim was also the main anchor.  After that it's a clip of ...  we're not really sure.

FEN Yokota

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chris Noel - 1967

Chris Noel is back with a 1967 visit.  It's a Date With Chris.
Have you visited Chris's website?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lionel Barrymore - Concert Hall 1948

Lionel Barrymore had a great love of classical music.  He wanted to do something for the troops.  Starting in WWII he hosted Concert Hall, a live classical music program.  On this visit Academy Award-winning music. The first selection is from, "The Song Of Bernadette." Lionel Barrymore (host), The Concert Hall Orchestra, Henry Svedrovski (conducting), Dorothy Warenskjold, Gilbert Russell

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Chat With Roger Carroll

Roger Carroll at Robert Wagner press conference

This was fun.  A couple of weeks ago I spoke with Roger Carroll about AFRTS, ABC and KMPC.  A wonderful career.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grand Old Opry - 1949

You can't tell the story of AFRTS without the Grand Old Opry. The Opry comes from WSM Nashville and started in the 1920s.  It was the prototype for stations all over the country and their live country shows.  When WWII came WSM made it available for the troops.  In the 1980s it was still going strong.  Here's a 1949 visit.

Wolfman Jack - 1976

Wolfman Jack lets the Midnight Special shine it's everlovin' light on you.

Wolfman Jack - 1976

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From The Bookshelf of the World - 1946

As part of the education mission AFRTS would repackage classic stories that were broadcast on US radio.  This is James Fenimore Coopers story "The Spy" as originally performed on Tales of Adventure November 21, 1946

AFN Berlin - Last morning show

Hard to believe it's been almost 20 years since AFN Berlin.  In 1994 it was the last day.

Roland Bynum - 1981

Roland's back with your Thursday favorites on American Forces Radio

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chris Noel 1967

I'm currently reading "Vietnam and Me", Chris's republished first book.  Highly recommended.

Chiquita - 1955

Starting in 1945 Chiquita Juarez  started her show for our Spanish speaking troops.  I wish I had more information on Sre Juarez.  She showed up on at least one Duffy's Tavern and had smaller parts in several movies.  For AFRS, she was Chiquita...

Roger Carroll - 1971

Roger Carroll has more of the best sounds in town.  This weekend stay tuned for a talk with Roger.  We had a good time and I hope that you will too..

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rockin' 1958

In the record libraries from the 1950s there wasn't much rock.  This 1958 pizza platter (16" disk) would have been sandwiched between hundreds of hours of broadway shows and big bands.  Stan Major told us AFN didn't play any Elvis when he was a tanker in Germany...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Around Dodge City they had one way to deal with the killers and spoilers... A US marshal's badge and Gunsmoke.

Gunsmoke radio cast, upper left is William Conrad (Matt Dillon), also the announcer on Rocky and Bullwinkle and Frank Cannon.  

We had a lot of places where television was late to the mix.  Radio dramas and comedies ran well into the 1990s. "Professor Lute Bone" originally broadcast October 20, 1957. This recording of the show is from a 1967 reissue.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Don Dornberg - AFVN Pleiku

There's very little tape of the Pleiku station, which makes this 1968 visit even better.

Don Dornberg was born 21 February 1944, the son of Mr. and Mrs. David C. Dornberg of suburban Minneapolis/St. Paul.  A 1962 graduate of Mahtomedi High School, he enlisted in the Army and was sent as a SP5 to Vietnam in 1967-68.  At AFVN's Detachment 3 at Pleiku, Don filled a radio deejay slot with occasional fill-in jobs on the TV news desk.

Back in civilian life, Don worked in Minnesota for a time before leaving for the warmer climes of the South. 1978, Don transferred to Atlanta's WGST, an all-news station which was soon to broadcast on 50,000 daytime watts.  As Assistant News Director, Don stayed with the station 19 years until a format change in 1997 prompted him to move to WSB.  During his two-decade Atlanta radio career, Don's team won two Excellence in Journalism awards -- one for Deadline Reporting and one for Sports Reporting.

At about the turn of the century, Don signed on as a correspondent with Metro Source News, a private news service company which provides text and audio nationwide to some 800 affiliates.  As of this writing in 2012, Don is currently general manager of the organization and lives happily in an Atlanta suburb.

Biography from

Roger Carroll - 1981

He's going places.

The best sounds in town.   Had a chance to talk with Roger last week it came out very nice.  I think you may like it.  Today, it's 1981.  Who plays records?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Roland Bynum - 1982

Roland has some 1982 memories...

Chris Noel - 1969

It may have been a Monday but Chris says "hi"!

Charlie Tuna - 1989

Charlie started with the network in 1971 and was there until 1996.  A lot of people started their days staying Tuna'd

Charlie's website is

Sunday, February 2, 2014

AFKN - 1973

Recently Brian Hartzell found a cassette from his AFKN time in 1973.  Bits and pieces from the network.

Bobby Zix was a legend.  When I got to Ft Devens I worked with JJ Gould (where is he?)  He would go on about Kong.  Took three decades to hear the magic.  This tape was my first chance to actually hear him.  Thank you Brian!