Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Don Tracy 1983

Don Tracy was from Hartford.  Learned his trade at the Conneticut School of Broadcasting with gigs in Hartford and New Haven before the lure of California.  Then to KGFJ, KABC TV and KDAY and KMBY in Capitola CA then where most of us found him AFRTS.  In 1997 Don was selling at KNX after that he was a part of Malloy and Associates, an advertising agency in Los Angeles. Here's a short piece from 1983.

Monday, February 17, 2020

George Homcy AFN 1951

I was at AFN, Europe, 1951-53, as a newscaster and news writer. Had my own local news show and was on air during the world news show at 7 p.m. In 1952, we had a big celebration on the Fourth of July, featuring the then-famous singer, Hildegard. It was quite a blast, with several hundred in attendance.

My assignment to AFN in the fall of 1951, along with John Keel, was a mystery, although my MOS reflected my prior service as a newspaper reporter. I was a reporter 1948-51 before I was drafted, so being assigned to AFN was great. I remember a staff car picking up me and Keel at the banhof in Frankfurt. On the way, the driver asked if we knew where we were going. We had no idea or knowledge about AFN. He told us, just as were pulling into the castle entrance in Hoechst. You can imagine our reaction!

I was assigned to the newsroom, Keel to Continuity. After a few months of writing newscasts for our news chief, Vince Lambros, I got to do some headline newscasts in the afternoon. More and more airtime followed. In 1952, I was assigned to be the AFN correspondent in Bremerhaven. In early 1953, I was reassigned to be the correspondent in Munich. In both cases, I had my own local news shows and also participated in the world news show in the evening, depending on what was happening. I do have some recordings of my shows, cut in the old vinyl records.

Some of my big news reporting was the saga of the Flying Enterprise at sea, the floods in Holland and the arrival of the SS United States in Bremerhaven, after setting a new transatlantic crossing record. We did a liv e broadcast from the ship. It was the top of the line at the time. I still have the official program from the ceremony.

Breaking into radio in 1953 was difficult. They all wanted commercial radio experience. I was not willing to leave the New Jersey-New York area, I had one job offer: To be the third man on the News-sports staff at WCTC in  New Brunswick, NJ which to this day covers Trenton and Rutgers. The salary was $50 a week. I turned it down and returned to newspaper work, putting in 20 years as a reporter, columnist and night editor. In 1974, I became president of the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce and served for 28 years, retiring in 2002. Then for three years I was executive director, a part-time gig, for the Nicholas Martini Foundation, a private multi-million dollar foundation which gave away money.

That is an abbreviated version of my career. Have a wife of 57 years, four kids and seven grandkids. I'll be 84 next month, God-willing.


Monday, February 10, 2020

Charlie Tuna 1986

Charlie's career was amazing.  Oklahoma City to Boston to Los Angeles. He was part of our team from 1971 until 1996.  An incredible run.

Charlie has a neat biography with sound at the Radio Hall of Fame. Click here Find out what it sounds like to be on the air during a major earthquake.

More jingles!

Several years ago Dyo sent a jingle reel that he had.  Several of these I had heard.  Which packages are these from?

Command Performance 1946

Command Performance was the BIG variety show that went into production almost at the birth of the network.

(from radiogoldindex)  March 14, 1946. Program #215. AFRS origination. June's first tune is, "Give Me The Simple Life." Larry Storch imitates Frank Morgan (without receiving credit). He then imitates Ed Gardner, Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre. Desi Arnaz sings, "Cuban Pete" and an extended arrangement of, "Ba-Balu." Red Skelton appears in, "Never Again" as "Junior, The Mean Widdle Kid." Verna Felton blows a line and stops the show. The recording date above is subject to correction. June Haver (m. c.), Ken Carpenter (announcer), Larry Storch, Desi Arnaz and His Orchestra, Red Skelton, Pat McGeehan, Verna Felton.