Friday, April 28, 2017

Andy Mansfield - 1964

It wasn't really a big band show, it was the oldies from 20-30 years prior. Andy Mansfield did "Turn Back the Clock" with his wife Virginia in the 50s. In the 1960s it had become America's Popular Music. (in the picture, Andy Mansfield, Kay Starr and a REALLY big microphone)

America's Popular Music - 1964
More Andy Mansfield

Thursday, April 27, 2017

AFRTS Adak - Michael Brown 1970

Michael Brown counted down the greatest hits of 1970 on AFRS Adak.

Alaska 1944

(Adak) Actors and actresses gather around during rehearsal for a play over station WXLB operated by GIs on barren Adak in the Aleutians.  Station is operated for the entertainment of the men who man the lonely frontier and once a week a play is featured.  

Left to right: Kathy Kellett (Butte, Montana), Sid Chauken (Long Beach, California), Muriel Couchman (Iowa City, Iowa), Andy Eger (Hollis, New York), Alice Chilgren (Little Fork, Minnesota), Jack Pulliam (Dallas, Texas)


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Roland Bynum 1973

So it's a hot summer day, it's August 1973, Friday and Roland brings the party!

Bill Stewart - 1969

Bill Stewart spent many years with AFRTS

In 1952 Gene Autry bought KMPC and assembled an all-star staff.  Dick Whittinghhill, Ira Cook,  Bill Stewart and Johnny Grant..

In 1959 Bill Stewart was moonlighting as a record producer at Warner Brothers.  Manager Bob Leonard said that was too close to payola and he would have to stop. A furious Stewart went to GM Bob Reynolds and demanded that Bob Leonard be fired.  Reynolds said for Bill to calm down and take some time and think about it.  Reynolds and Leonard had been childhood friends.  They were roommates in college.

Roger Carroll had been working over at ABC and was in the process of coming over to KMPC for a different shift. Roger replaced Bill Stewart. 

In 1969 Bill still swung:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Harlem Hospitality Club - 1946

A combination audience participation/Harlem music show from Mutual, rebroadcast on AFRS. The program originates from the Savoy Ballroom, New York City. The first tune is, "The St. Louis Blues." Willie Bryant (host), The Loumel Morgan Trio, Kitty De Chavez (vocal), Kirby Walker (piano), Sam Jackson (bass)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

AFVN Jolly Jim 1966

Dennis digitized a reel-to-reel  recorded off the air (lightning crackles and all) from AFVN Saigon June 1966 featuring Jolly Jim (don’t know his real name) music is not scoped. Any idea who it is?

This is wonderful.  Thanks Dennis!

Don Browne has some insight:

The air check of AFVN Jolly Jim 1966 appears to be that of SP4 James Lull.

AFVN didn't exist in June 1966. The only studio was called "Armed Forces Radio" or "Armed Forces Radio - Vietnam". It was one flagship station for Saigon/540 kHz, and two or more unmanned repeaters (Qui Nhon/770 kHz, Danang/850 kHz, and possibly Pleiku/560 kHz). There was no FM (99.9 MHz) or TV (Channel 11) yet. The expansion to a "real" network was just starting. "Date With Chris" starring Chris Noel was six months away.

The actual air check of "Jolly Jim" Lull contains an interruption of Morse Code around 0635. This sounds like a cargo ship transmitting A2 in the nearby Saigon river. Several PAMS "call letter edits" are featured as well as PAMS instrumental beds. I don't recognize the notes that cover the call letters. Each call letter note pattern was unique.

Also, the music selection is suspiciously void of mentioning or playing early (1964-1966) Beatles selections. This is because early Beatles songs were not selected by the AFRTS radio producers for inclusion in the TP or P-series. This is one of the reasons why "bootleg" radio stations were started by Army Public Affairs officers in Vietnam.

Army Public Affairs officers started their own "independent" radio stations, acquired studio equipment, and several AM or FM transmitters. The PA Offices contacted local stateside record distributors and received popular 45 RPM singles and LP records. They also purchased jingle packages from CRC, Gwinsound, and Pepper-Tanner who were "supporters of freedom's mission in Vietnam". These "bootleg" operations were heard throughout RVN and were more popular (because their music was more current) than the RP four-week turnaround of the "censored" TP and P-series songs received by AFVN.

There were never more than twenty of these "bootleg" operations in RVN. These stations would generally exist for several months until their staffs ETS'd out of Vietnam. Then the on-air time would drop precipitously.

The most popular "bootleg" station in Vietnam was KLIK (from the military term "click", meaning one kilometer) which operated on 1330 kHz and 104.9 MHz, Lai Khe Base Camp. The PAO of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (just north of Saigon) operated this station for several years (1967-1969).

These "bootleg" stations donated their purchased jingles to AFVN, who had draftee SP4 Gary Gears as the AFVN Saigon production man (1967-1969). DoD approved these "donations" because they were "Found on Post". Gary combined PAMS jingles received by his former employers WDGY, KQV, and WCFL with the donated CRC and Gwinsound jingles which sang "AFVN". The result was quite remarkable.

Don Browne

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jim Pewter 1968

Jim Pewter rocks up a storm.  I miss this music.  I miss hearing it being played by someone that breathed it.  Thanks Jim! Jim also made a bunch of neat records

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chris Noel 1968

I'm happy to be able to share this.  There's a story on this one.  This disk was part of a group I bought a couple of years ago.  Normally these things appear out of nowhere and no one is really sure where they came from.  I asked the seller "Grampa brought them back from Vietnam".  The kid wasn't sure about anything else.  It was pretty much junk in the garage.  We have to share these things before they become a part of oblivion.

Chris is STILL helping the troops.  Please make a donation, buy a signed picture.  There are a lot of nice things in the online shop:

Joe Ferguson 1983

Joe Ferguson is back with another hour of the "Joe Show".  Joe was doing his show in Portland (OR) and did a series of programs for AFRTS.

John Doremus - 1967

Music for the dinner hour from John Doremus.  After the run of the show John did many spots and short form shows that ran for years.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Boyd Raeburn 1946

In 1946 Boyd Raeburn had a swinging, swinging band.  A big band with R&B and the beginnings of bebop.  It was called the "Most Exciting music of Today".  I agree.  A "Popular Music Replacement" would have been a one shot show generally sent because a regularly scheduled show wasn't available. They were very popular on Jubilee but here's a full broadcast.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bill Stewart -1969

Amazing talent from KMPC

Don Browne has some insights: Not all AFRTS-LA radio show hosts methodically recorded their programs at the beginning of the RU 8-week cycle-to-air. Of course, all AFRTS stations and networks held the RU "on the floor" for an additional 3-weeks as a protection for four-class mail delays enroute. The only exception was AFVN in Saigon, RVN who aired the RU and RP ("Date With Chris") the week that it was received. Saigon had daily flights from Travis AFB, CA and didn't have to worry about delay in four-class mail deliveries.
Bill Stewart, and a few other hosts, recorded and stored their shows at AFRTS-LA for four to six months prior to air. Although the programming was 5-55:00 at the beginning, it was considered "ever green" by the LA producers. Bill Stewart never mentioned "it's the Monday edition" or "it's the Tuesday edition" the way Roger Carroll did for his 5-55:00 series. I believe this was due to the inordinate delay in recording the Bill Stewart Shows. He just didn't know what day the show was to be aired!
When Bill Stewart says "this song is a new release", it really isn't. . .it's four to six months old!
Because of the long "lead-time" in recording the Bill Stewart Shows (at the request of Bill himself), I reviewed and logged a year of the Bill Stewart Show to determine if there was a detrimental effect on the program. This took about two weeks of auditioning the pristine discs in the Library of Congress. I saved the "Bill Stewart logs" when I retired from AFRTS in January 2001.

The core artists most likely to be featured on the 1-110:00 series Bill Stewart Show were: Mel Torme, Buddy Greco, Damita Jo, George Shearing, Andre Previn, Les Brown, Ted Heath, Artie Shaw, Peggy Lee, Anita Kerr Singers, Nelson Riddle, David Rose, and Burt Bacharach. The "Bill Stewart logs" began with #733 RU 41-9 (April 1969) and ended with #790 RU 47-0 (May 1970). In this series, Bill Stewart used Hugo Montenegro's rendition of "Palm Canyon Drive" as a bridge (or bumper) between Part 2 (the "b" side) and Part 3 (the "c" side).
In #734 RU 42-9 (April 1969), Bill Stewart remarks "This is the beginning of the Twenty-fifth Year of AFRS (nee AFRTS). . ." in the beginning of Part 4 (the "d" side).
In #749 RU 5-0 (August 1969), Bill Stewart remarks that Henry Mancini's rendition of "Crocodiles Go Home" from the soundtrack album "Hatari" was his "bridge theme" (between Part 1 and Part 2) when the show was 5-a-week (5-55:00).

Although the AFRTS-LA records are not accurate, due to the numbering scheme, the first Bill Stewart Show was probably #1M in RU 27-6 (January 1966). Around #651 in RU 1-9 (July 1968), Bill Stewart was demoted to 1-110:00. An easy way to rank AFRTS-LA radio show hosts was by the number of disc sides that they recorded. 1-25:00 or 1-30:00 was one side; 1-45:00 or 1-55:00 was two sides; 1-110:00 was four sides; 5-55:00 was ten sides. So moving from 5-55:00 to 1-110:00 was considered a demotion.

Bill Stewart is back for another swinging hour.  It's a little jumpy near the beginning but it fills the Bill..

FEN 1950

Gene Price - 1974

Time for another visit with Gene Price, it's the summer of 1974 and Leonard says "hi"!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Service Digest - 1945

Johnny Murray "Your Constant Reader" has the information about fish juice....

Johnny Murray was born in Glen Cove, New York in 1920. He attended St. Patrick’s Elementary and graduated from Glen Cove High School. Murray learned to play piano and also entertained his family and friends playing and singing the popular hits of the day. World War II interrupted any plans for college and Johnny enlisted in the Army. He was assigned to the Signal Corp and was soon heard on Armed Forces Radio playing and singing. Upon discharge, he worked at KLIF in Dallas, WDSU in New Orleans, and WMOB in Mobile. In 1956 he moved to Atlanta to work at WQXI. Later he moved to WGST where he worked for 16 years. Murray died in 1982.    

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jim Pewter - 1980

I miss this music.  As the years go by there are less and less opportunities to hear it, particularly from someone that understands it.

Jim was at AFKN in 1966 and shortly after went too the network for a three decade run.

The weekend starts.... it's Friday

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Joe Ferguson - 1983

Joe Ferguson brings us the best from Portland in another 1983 get together.  Thanks for sharing these Joe!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

AFVN - Harry Simons 1969

Harry on the air in Da Nang

Harry Simons "Your Brother" sent along some memories of Da Nang 1969 on AFVN.  Wonderful.  A while back Harry put a lot of work into a radio special about the network that you should take a listen to  AFVN - The GIs Companion   

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mary Helen Barro - 1983

Much of the country is going to the dying heaves of winter.  A little salsa, some Latin jazz and the occasional ranchero.  I need that.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Charlie Tuna 1992

Andrea Bowen, who plays Teri Hatcher's daughter "Julie" on the "Desperate Housewives" TV series, joins Charlie with the latest scoop from Wisteria Lane (photo from

Time for another visit with Charlie.  He worked at every great station in Los Angeles during the week, but weekly we had our "Breakfast Serial"

AFN Anniversary Shows

2017 Is the 75th anniversary of our network.  There's been some great storytelling.

The Army Hour started before there was Armed Forces Radio. First on NBC radio then eventually being sent to hundreds of stations for the Sunday morning graveyard. In 1968 AFN Europe was 25. Here's their tribute, with a bunch of AFNers doing their share.
The Army Hour 1968: AFN Europe 25th anniversary.

It's not clear from this broadcast, but in 1943 the networks in Alaska and Panama were already broadcasting.

After I posted this, I found a 16th anniversary special (1961) produced by the Berlin station and run on the full network.
More anniversary shows

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Joe Allison - 1965

Joe Allison had a lot to do with modern Country music.  He was a talent, writer, producer and record company executive.  In this broadcast he talks a bit about that.

Wolfman Jack 1985

Here's some great audio from AFN Soesterberg in the Netherlands.  We sure had some great places to go.  Here's the Wolf!

Continental Varieties 1961

Dick Crawford takes us to an evening in New York on Continental Varieties

Monday, April 3, 2017

If Freedom Failed - 1951

A 1951 series of programs describing what communist rule would be like in a small American community George Macready stars in todays story of what could happen.

FEN Schedule - 1985

Mon to Fri

05:05 Harry Newman

06:05 Local Live

07:00 News/Sports/Paul Harvey

07:30 Local Live

09:05 Charlie Tuna

10:05 Don Tracy

11:05 Local Live

12:00 News/Sports/Commentary

13:05 Gene Price

14:05 Larry McKay

15:05 Mary Turner

16:05 Local Live

18:00 News/Sports/Commentary

19:05 Music Network

21:05 Radio Theater

21:30 Jim Pewter

22:05 Wolfman Jack

23:05 Phil Harvey

23:30 Jazz Beat

00:10 East Of Midnight (from FEN Tokyo)

02:05 Roland Bynum

03:05 Charlie Tuna

04:05 Mary Turner

04:30 Jim Pewter


05:05 Swinging Years

06:05 Weekender

07:00 News/Sports/Paul Harvey

07:30 Weekender

09:05 American Country Countdown

12:00 News/Sports

12:30 East Of Eden

13:05 American Top 40

17:05 The Swinging Years

18:05 Golden Days Of Radio

19:05 Off The Record

20:00 Live From Gilley's

21:05 All That Jazz

22:05 The Count Down (Walt Love)

00:05 Sign On/East Of Midnight

02:05 American Top 40


05:05 All That Jazz

06:05 The Golden Days Of Radio

07:05 Weekender

08:30 Focus On The Family

09:05 Amen Corner

10:05 Salt Lake Tabernacle Choir

10:30 Celebration

11:05 Open Door

11:30 Protestant Hour

12:00 News/Sports

12:30 Love On The Rock

13:05 Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember

16:05 Viva

18:00 News/Sports

18:30 FEN Adventure Theater

19:05 Musical

21:05 The Fusion Move

22:05 Prime Cuts

23:05 King Biscuit Flower Hour

Sugar Report - 1945

Eugenia Lincoln "Jinx" Falkenburg was an actress, expert swimmer and tennis star, and one of the highest-paid and most ubiquitous cover-girl models in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s, one of the first supermodels.

This was the first I'd heard of The "Sugar Report".  A program about what was going on in the United States with clips from network shows and news from entertainment.

John did some checking: Did a little research and date this program to the first week of May 1945. Based on dates for the Broadway show Foolish Notion, opened March 13, 1945, closed June 9, 1945. Olsen and Johnson were on the Philco Radio Hall of Fame on April 29th, 1945 celebrating their 30th Anniversary. On May 3rd, 1945 the King Cole Trio appeared on the Bing Crosby Show where they sang "If You Can't Smile And Say Yes (Please Don't Cry And Say No".

This was recorded  on acetate and sent to the AFRS shortwave station in California. 

Andy Mansfield 1967

Andy Mansfield did his first oldies show with AFRTS in the 1950s.  Andy and his wife Virginia "Turn Back the Clock" featured music from the turn of the century to the 1950s.  In the 1960s the show was more focused and renamed "America's Popular Music".  Here's a 1967 visit.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Roland Bynum - 1976

Here's our stop at the Creators Workshop 1976 with Roland Bynum.

BIll Stewart - 1969

Relax and pull up a chair.  Bill Stewart with another really swinging hour from 1969.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Jim Pewter - 1981

Come and get your memories.  Jim's back again with another great half hour.  Starts with the original version of a song made huge by the Beatles. Jim was one of us and it shows up on every show.  They don't make music like this anymore.  No one ever presented it better.

Don Browne has more: All AFRTS radio programming records are spotty, but Jim Pewter is more complicated.

Jim Pewter started his AFRTS-LA career in January 1967, presumably with #1M in flight RU 27-7. His "oldies" specialty show was initially 5-25:00 and lasted about two years. About March 1969, just in time for my arrival at FEN, Tokyo, JP, Jim Pewter was demoted to once a week at 1-55:00. I made a note of it in my FEN log when I reviewed show #366, RU 41-9 in April 1969. The Jim Pewter Show 1-55:00 lasted for about seven years (364 weeks)!

Then at the start of the Bicentennial Year, the Jim Pewter Show was promoted to 5-30:00 with (approximately) #752M in flight RU 1-76 (the first transitional quarter) in January 1976. Because of the long period of one-per-week, the numbering system was in complete disarray. For five-per-week, Mondays, which normally started with xxx1 followed by Mondays as xxx6, instead started with Mondays as xxx2 followed by Mondays as xxx7.

If Jim Pewter continued his 5-30:00 "oldies" show through the transition to Unistar/SMN satellite programming in October 1995, his final cassette-delivered program would have been (about) #5961F in flight RC 52-5, December 1995.