Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Walt Pinto - AFRS Alaska 1961

The only thing I have is a picture, since I did mostly TV.  (And there was no videotape in 1961 and 62.

Greely had the Arctic Test Board and the Cold Weather and Mountain School.  I think I mentioned that we broadcast on Channel 8 with 200 watts.  That got us into Delta Junction about 10 miles away.  The only other TV the town had was one translator from a Fairbanks TV station.

But I worked in radio for two years before the Army.  I enlisted for the 3 years because I was about 6 months from being drafted.  As you know the 3 year enlistment guarantees the school and no reserves after separation.  Went to the Defense Information  school at Ft. Slocum in NY.  Spent a year at Bragg in Psywar, doing details.  Then the year and a half in AK.  Discharged 45 days early in Nov. 62.  Went back to radio and am still in it today.

When I got there in May of '61, the TV station was halfway between the New post and the Old post.  The staff...all 3 of us lived at the station, which was great.  We had a kitchen and private rooms.  Then about 6 months later, they moved the radio station into the building and built several more rooms for those people.

We were the first station to get the weekly shipment of films from LA.  After we used them, they were sent on, eventually reaching the middle east about nine months later.  The entire week's worth of programming...arrived two weeks before they were supposed to air.  We had a projection room with two projectors which an editor used to watch every piece of film to make sure there was no commercial or even a commercial frame on those films.  I became friendly with a couple of the MPs, and many weekends they would come by late at night on the weekends and we'd have a beer party watching the shows before they aired.

Living at the TV station was great.  Not one inspection or any kind of the usual oversight.

I have wanted to go back to Alaska since I left, and three years ago got the chance.  My wife and I flew to Anchorage and drove around for two weeks.  Before I left from here, I contacted the Info office at Greely about getting a tour.  They said OK, and we had a nice tour when I got there.  The post was closed a few years ago, but reopened later and now is a missile base.  Part of the post is now top secret, but I got to see the rest...almost nothing recognizable from 50 years ago.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Yarns for Yanks - 1943

"Yarns for Yanks" was one of the first shows on AFRS.  A talented star telling a story.  This was adapted from the show "Night Cap Yarns", which had been running for years on CBS Pacific.  The first 18 shows were recorded by Frank Graham then Hollywood's brightest stars came out to support the troops.  Today Lloyd Nolan tells us a O Henry story, 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Chris Noel

Chis Noel takes everyone home, for 55 minutes on "A Date With Chris"  She connected, playing great music and brought America to the world. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Spectrum USA - 1971

Happy Presidents Day!  In 1971 the Marine Corps Reserve was sending the stories of the Presidents in Spectrum USA.  Col Dick Stark has the information.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jim Ameche - 1968

Jim Ameche is back with the most beautiful music in the world.  Jim was one of the very first to make syndicating a DJ show work.  He later was the voice of the Longines Symphonette.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Adventure Theatre - 1976

In the 70s and 80s AFRTS went back to the shows that had been run over the years and repackaged them into "Adventure Theatre". There were still a lot of places with no television. 

"Zero Hour" had been done several times on Dimesion X, Escape and on Future Tense.  This was originally on a 1955 Suspense broadcast.

 Isa Ashdown, John Dehner (narrator), Parley Baer, Paula Winslowe, Beverly Hanley, Eve McVeagh, Ray Bradbury (author), Antony Ellis (adaptor, producer, director), Larry Thor (announcer), Lucien Moraweck (composer), Leith Stevens (composer), Wilbur Hatch (conductor), Bill James (sound patterns), Ray Kemper (sound patterns). 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Welcome to AFVN - 1972

Picked up some wonderful documents, a 1972 welcome package to AFVN.  We had similar ones in Korea.
These were originally from Tom Peterson.  After DINFOS Tom was in the 82nds PAO shop and then to Saigon as a newsman, later being a part of Stars and stripes.  After discharge Tom spent 20 years at KCAU-TV in Sioux Falls.  We lost Tom to a car accident in 1994.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Roger Carroll - 1972

It's a celebration of Wednesday.  1972 memories of RC and the Happy Hour on AFRTS.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Date With Chris - 1969

Chris still needs your help: Vetsville Cease Fire House
291 NE 19th Avenue
Boynton Beach, FL 33435
Phone: (561) 736-4325
FAX: (561) 736-4325
I’m Chris Noel. In Hollywood, I did films with Elvis and Steve McQueen. In Vietnam, I performed live, and my radio show was broadcast to our troops, both in Vietnam and worldwide.

Then, in 1993, I founded Vetsville Cease Fire House, a non-profit charity based in Florida that is dedicated to providing food, shelter and care for indigent military veterans.


Monday, February 1, 2016

LaRita Shelby "Operation Inclusion FMB"

LaRita Shelby is determined that AFRTS broadcasters will be recognized.  We've talked about this a few times over the years.  I see something starting...

MISSION:  "Operation Inclusion - F. M. B." 
Gentlemen, your mission if you choose to accept is to wage an all out effort to see that former AFRTS/AFN announcers and staff are not forgotten in celebrations commemorating AFRTS/AFN's 75th anniversary.  The mission is called Operation F. M. B. for the inclusion of Former Military Broadcasters.   
I (LaRita Shelby) would like to formulate a nationwide and official campaign to see that former military broadcasters who appeared on the AFRTS, AFN and all other affiliated radio and television networks are recognized by the Obama White House in honor of this landmark feat in history.  Additionally, I would like to note the culturally diverse talent that took the airwaves during this time, such as  women and minorities.  The mission of inclusion calls for more names to be added to the historic list of announcers- those that served from 1974 to the present time.     
This initiative will align present and former broadcasters (and staff) who were enlisted, as well as civilian contractors such as myself. 
Our recognition seeks to bring present and public attention to the contributions of these announcers for the following: 
  • Providing command information 
  • Raising moral among our troops  
  • Being global communications ambassadors 
Our efforts exposed American music and culture to many of the nations where we were heard, it helped international communities to learn English as a second language and served as an important part of our military history.  I seek to do this currently, because due to the nature of today's digital environment, we have made new connecting points to our fellow comrades who were and are yet on the airwaves for our American military forces.   

My personal story involves meeting a Desert Storm soldier who told me that he and his boys would skip dinner while in Kuwait to get back to tent B 12 to listen to my show on AFRTS.  Today I have heard from soldiers in Alaska, England, Germany and beyond who still have fond memories of AFRTS.  A champion in this cause already is Thom Whetston, who has done a brilliant job of chronicling many AFRTS broadcasters online via the AFRTS Blogspot at  Thom was an Army Broadcast Specialist from 1976-1985 in South Korea and the Republic of Panama.  Listen to Thom's AFRTS Archives demo here:   
We are all connecting through social media these days and we certainly want to be included as AFN is celebrated this year.   
So far, I believe the coalition to bring this into fruition to include Ret. Sgt. Major Larry Whitley, former Navy Broadcaster Ron Brewington and of course Thom Whetston. 
Proposed event: 
  • A live ceremony at AFN headquarters and press conference that includes not only the current staff of AFN but former broadcasters who were a part of AFRTS history
  • A call to action for media outlets to strongly consider hiring from the talent pool of former military broadcasters and civilian contractors. 
Recognized accomplishments should note: 
  • Providing command information 
  • Raising moral among our troops  
  • Being global communications ambassadors 
Action items: 
  • Establish a weekly conference call among the team 
  • Further coalesce the team to recognize former AFRTS broadcasters 
  • Designate team members to make sure that all further efforts are D.O.D. compliant 
  • Identify a Veterans affairs liaison and an official AFN liaison 
  • Designate a supervisor of logistics as we go forward  
  • Designate a social media coordinator to get the word out to as many broadcasters as possible  
Official AFN site today:  
Former AFRTS contractor (1990-97) LaRita Shelby  
Former Navy Broadcaster Ron Brewington 
Ret. Stg. Major Larry Whitley 
If you would like to contact any of those people that will be making this happen, please  let me know and your information will be forwarded.
Former Army Broadcaster Thom Whetston (612)356-2377