Thursday, December 23, 2021

Merry Christmas 1947


Three G. I.'s in Germany, away from home at Christmas time for the first time, try to share the holiday spirit. Edmund Penny, Frank Gerstle, Howard Culver, Irvin Lee, James W. Talbot (producer), Jerry Farber, Richard Crenna, Rye Billsbury, Steve Allen (writer).

I know that MacGregor produced similar material to this (under a contract for AFRS)

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Pete Smith 1983


Pete Smith was part of the EZ listening tradition at AFRTS.  He followed John Doremus, who followed Jim Ameche.  He had quite a career in Los Angeles radio KNX; KDAY, 1956-58; KRKD, 1958-61; KNOB; KPOL; KMPC, 1961-88; KJQI/KOJY, 1993-95; KGIL, 1998. Pete was part of "Music of Your Life."

Roger Carroll was telling me that Pete was fulltime swing at KMPC.  What a gig.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Adventures in Good Music 1972


Karl Haas was perfect for AFRTS.  He made classical music accessible for young troops that had never heard such a thing and gave a gift.  He did the same thing on Detroit radio for decades.  His show was syndicated all over the country and is probably still being aired somewhere.

Kris Erik Stevens 1978


Learn something new every day, Kris didn't go to the McCadden studios:

"I had my own studios so I never worked in the building.... but hand delivered shows there for at least 5+ years in the 70’s ----American Disco and the Kris Erik Stevens show --- Bit of a blur... but great fun!"

And great shows they were.

Kris may have some shows for us, that would be wonderful!!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving 1944


Surprisingly hard to find Thanksgiving shows.  From 1944 Lionel Barrymore (Mr. Potter on It's a Wonderful Life)  and an all-star cast share the holidays.

My best to you and yours. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Mary Turner 1983


In the 80s and 1990s Mary Turners show was so popular she had two programs on the network.  Her regular Mary Turner Show and "Off The Record", where she interviewed rock's biggest stars.

She made waves in Los Angeles radio too, and eleven year run at KMET and returning in the 90s to KSLX.  Now she's involved in many charitable causes including the Betty Ford Center in Ranch Mirage.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Herman Griffith 1967

Herman with Jim Pewter and Roger Carroll

 Feeling brave? If you're young  or old Herman Griffith is here with the Records Caravan. Bold?  If you

Herman was at KGFJ in Los Angeles in the early 60s, was with us into the 1970s and not much else is known.

Harry Newman 1986

Time for more Harry Newman.  The next time "Cops" comes on, listen closely to the announcer.  From 1986, welcome back Harry Newman..

Monday, November 8, 2021

Army Hour - 1967 Computers!


The Army had computers in 1967, just not very sure what they were.  This from a 1967 "Army Hour" broadcast.  The Army Hour had PAO shops from around the world filing reports on what their commands were doing.  These usually ended up broadcast on Sunday mornings in the states. Sgt Raymond Banks reports:

Johnny Bond 1961

 To the strains of Les Paul's "Cimarron" and a bushel basket full of gramophone records.  It's old school country from 1961.

Happy listening!

Gary Owens 1969


This is a much better transfer of something that was presented a while back.  I was sent a bunch of disks that weren't stored in sleeves and were in pretty rough shape. 

Chris Noel 1970


Chris Noel did so much for so many Vietnam era troops.  "A Date With Chris" brought the girl next door to far flung outposts all over the world.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Charlie Tuna 1988

It's been five years since we lost Charlie.  I remember that day. 

Charlie was with us a quarter century, right up to the end.  I think we all stole something from him.  Thanks Charlie!


Rocketing Rhythms 1961


Jack Brown is back with Rocketing Rhythms. our 1961 show with tunes for the kids.  Today Jack has the top hits and visit with Kay Starr...

Friday, October 22, 2021

Halloween's Coming.... Mystery Playhouse 1944

 The Mystery Playhouse was one of the first series on AFRS.  The networks were sending over more good material than could be readily used.  A lot of it was used in anthology programs, sort of the best of radio back home.  "SGT X" (Howard Duff) was the host of the Mystery Playhouse..

Ida Lupino and Louis Hayward in Graham Greene's novel, "Brighton Rock." was originally aired on the CBS show "This Is My Best", in 1944

Mary Helen Barro 1983


Mary Helen Barro has your latin favorites!

Johnnie Darrin 1978


Johnnie Darrin's resume included: KIIS; KRLA, 1968-71; KDAY, 1971; KROQ, 1972-73; KNAC, 1975; KGOE, 1975; KNX, 1976; KGIL, 1976-83; KJOI, 1978; KBLA, 1989-92; KGIL, 1993; KFWB, 1998-2008.  

John Doremus 1967


It's been a busy day and time for orchestral music and stories for the dinner hour from John Doremus.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Jim Pewter 1968


Today Jim has memories of Johnny Ace, one of the most haunting talents ever.

Mary Helen Barro 1983


Mary Helen Barro brought the best in Latin music.  When suffering a violent winter, the music made it warmer.  See the beach?

Monday, October 4, 2021

Tom Campbell 1971


Thank you Gunnar!

Tom Campbell had just started doing the show for AFRTS.  He was still rocking along in the 1980s:

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Bill Stewart 1967


Time for a "Musical Bill Affair".  I'm not sure what that means either but it was in the jingle.  Bill was one of the KMPC talents between 1951-59, later at KGIL and KRHM.  He was also a famous record producer.  In 1969 he was honored with a concert at the Hollywood Palladium.  He also did in flight music programming.  We lost Bill in 1993 from congestive heart failure.

Don Tracy 1988


DON TRACY - Don Tracy was another with a great career at AFRTS-LA and in Los Angeles radio: KGFJ, 1969-74; KDAY, 1976-90; KGFJ, 1993-94; KMBY, 1995; KABC, 1995-97. Following a stint in sales at KABC, Don had an ad agency in the San Fernando Valley, Malloy and Associates. This aircheck was recorded in Iceland.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Kris Erik Stevens 1983


Kris Erik Stevens made a lot of great radio, taking Chicago then Los Angeles by storm.  Over the last few years, Kris has been the voice of the pre-show music at the theatre.  Here's part of 1983 with Kris Erik:

Wow Thomas........
Hearing my radio show performed years ago was
quite a wakeup call on my Sunday morning ----- 
Takes me back in time..... 
Thanks for sharing memories of my AFRTS radio days.
Kris Erik Stevens

Friday, September 17, 2021

Redd Harper 1948


Redd was a part of a concert band that became more and more successful until they were invited to join an Oklahoma City radio station in 1924. From there, his career took off and his music was in greater demand. In 1931 he joined a larger radio station in Des Moines, found more success, and then decided to head to Hollywood, California. However, he arrived at the end of the Western Jazz era and the beginning of the Great Depression, thus finding it hard to find work and was not as successful as he had been. He struggled to find work in the city. When World War II started, he joined the Coast Guard for three years.  After the war, Redd was doing shows for AFRS.
After the war he found success again in Hollywood as he began working with other big name artists of the time from both radio and movies. During this time he also found success in the movie industry and starred in several films, including The Strawberry Roan.

Mary Turner 1991


Mary Turner

Time to rock with Mary Turner.  An AOR daily show, it was quite the scandal in the early 80s and great.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Roland Bynum 1981


KJLH 102.3's Roland Bynum and James Fields The musicman hanging out at The Taste of Soul L.A. a few years ago!

Roland still makes it happen on Stevie Wonder's KJLH in Los Angeles every Saturday morning.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Operation Little Vittles 1949

 In the late 40s AFRS did a lot of stories about the people side of war.  Operation Little Vittles was a part of the Berlin Airlift. America got candy to kids.

The story is dramatized in this broadcast:

Thursday, September 2, 2021

AFVN Your Brother 1969


 Bob Mayben sent in a neat AFVN memory: "I was company clerk for the 43rd APU (Post Office). I have a 30 minute air check of “Your Brother” on AFVN DaNang that I recorded at the 80th Logistical Command in the Arts and Crafts shop."

Monday, August 30, 2021

Friday, August 27, 2021

Birth Of Armed Forces Radio

 Midge England sent the following and it's great:

I found it! Our PCAN origins. The whole story. It is a good thing I belong to newspaper archives for my genealogy research. Now I understand the reason why AFRTS (AFN) has no records of our origins. We created AFRS. Not the other way around. When they destroyed the records at SCN, they destroyed the origins of the AFN. The person who gave that order destroyed the history of the entire network. PCAN was responsible for the creation of AFRS.

I am attaching the newspaper articles I found. You ALL need to read these.

In April 1941, a group of artillery soldiers took it upon themselves to start PCAN (Panama Coast Artillery News) and PCAC (Panama Coast Artillery Corps)
The artillery soldiers decided to set up two little 50 watt radio stations for the 30,000 artillery soldiers spread through the jungles of Panama building artillery defense for the canal zone. The little stations were operated by the Jarman Junglemen Artillery Corps named after their beloved Major General Sandeford Jarman. The Jungleers created their own unofficial call letters which essentially belonged to the Signal Corps. They created their own radio stations to provide entertainment and news for the 30,000 soldiers spread through the jungle. They operated 4 hours per day.

A few months later, MSG Clay Doster, editor of the Artillery News sent a letter to NBC's "Blue Network" requesting some old recordings and transcriptions for their little stations to air for the troops. The vice president of NBC who received their letter was a former Doughboy and decided to adopt the two little 50 watt stations as honorary affiliates of the NBC "Blue Network". They immediately sent 1000 recordings weighing one ton, to the 2 stations. The President of NBC went on the air to personally welcome the adopted stations to the NBC network as honorary affiliates in a two hour special program nationwide on Sept 11, 1941 to tell the public PCAN's colorful story along with several guest celebrities. I found about 5 newspaper articles about this. I have attached them.

Clearly embarrassed by this situation after NBC "Adopted" the soldiers whose needs were not being provided for, the military decided to create a network to provide radio services to their soldiers, many fighting the wars overseas or protecting our territories, by creating the AFRS network a year later. PCAN was their first station... before AFRS ever existed. This is why AFN was missing the records for the origins of SCN because we existed before they did. And because some unthinking person ordered the destruction of our records... all of that history was lost. I'm grateful that the NBC President decided to make a big deal out of the event and made sure our story was in the newspapers and on national radio with a huge two hour, celebrity studded welcoming program just for PCAN & PCAC as their new adopted affiliates. That is the only reason the story was in the papers for us to recover the history. This really put the military on the spot for not providing an organized source of entertainment and news to their troops.

So a year after the soldiers had built their own radio stations... the military was embarrassed into creating AFRS. Now I need to correct and update our history. It is a crying shame it was lost. It needs to be returned to its true place in the origins and history of AFN.

Here are newspaper articles with the entire story of PCAN and the NBC adopting them and the welcoming 2 hours special program aired nationwide. These are from newspapers in Canton, Ohio and New Orleans, etc.


Roger Carroll 1981

 I'm grateful that Roger made so many great shows and made them available to us. 
Today it's memories of 1981.  If you have any of Roger's Christmas shows please contact me!

Rocketing Rhythms 1961


Jack Brown interviews Bogart and Becall

Jack Brown was a long time AFRS announcer, with a history going back to WWII.  By 1961 he was counting down the greatest hits on Rocketing Rhythms.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Chris Noel 1970


Beautiful lady, wonderful show.  You have a Date With Chris.

1970s jingles


TM Productions was big.  Tom Merrman's company along with PAMS were the gold standard.  Here's some of the jingles they did for us in the 70s.

Charlie Tuna 1991

 So where were you in 1991?

The first Gulf War, Soviet Union crumbles, Princess Diana and Prince Charles split up. Topicality was a big piece of the Charlie Tuna show:

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Harry Newman 1982

Today we bring to Archive AFTRS another golden piece of radio history. It´s a Harry Newman aircheck from the American base radio in Torrej√≥n de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain, in 1982.

Emmylou  Harris is a country music legend and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. By that time, 1982, Harry Newman was one of the best dj´s of country music along with Gene Price. And both of them worked for the American Forces Radio. On its program he played the best country music  and interviewed the best country music acts like Emmylou Harris or Crystal Gayle. He knew his country music.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Laura Lee - 1986


Laura Lee brought us jazz worldwide on Jazzbeat.  After a long day it was great.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021

AFKN Beginnings


During the early days of the Pusan Perimeter during the Korean War, troops in Korea received radio programming from transmitters that were located in Japan.
by Charles H. Briscoe, PhD
The American military occupation commands had taken control of all media in Japan and Korea. The Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) followed U.S. forces assigned occupation duty. AFRS employed mobile radio vans and commandeered Japanese stations on the mainland, Korea, the Marianas, and the Ryukyus. When Far East Command (FECOM) G-2 Psywar broadcast to Korea from Japan after the war broke out, it was done on the Far East Network (FEN) headquartered in the Radio Tokyo building.
The 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company (MRBC), 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Group (RB&L) team was sent to Pusan in August 1951 to take charge of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) station in the port and to coordinate its refurbishment in order to serve as the “Voice of South Korea.” While this was a cooperative U.S.-Korea venture, the American military was clearly in charge, paying reconstruction and equipment replacement costs, and training KBS personnel.2 U.S. radio operations in Japan began after August 1945.
American radio broadcasting started shortly after General Douglas A. MacArthur and his staff landed at Atsugi on 30 August 1945 to complete the formal surrender arrangements. Two AFRS mobile vans, priority shipped from Manila by FEN, a.k.a. the “Jungle Network,” began broadcasting from Yokohama in early September. For security reasons the mobile FEN assets aligned themselves with the American Occupation units. WLKH in Kure (Honshu) and WVTO in Sasebo (Kyushu) supported the U.S. Army 24th Infantry and 2nd Marine Divisions respectively. The Marines get credit for the first American troop broadcast while the first Army radio station in Japan was WLKH.
NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) or the Japan Broadcasting System, ceased operations on 10 September 1945 after Emperor Hirohito announced the end of the war to citizens abroad from Radio Tokyo.4 Less than two weeks later, Radio Tokyo No. 2 began broadcasts from the building as FEN troop station WVTR. FEN Tokyo established administrative offices on the second floor. Eleven AFRS-FEN stations covered Japan, the Marianas, the Ryukyus, and Korea when WVTP Seoul was operationally transferred to the Korea Military Advisory Group (KMAG) on 30 June 1949, less than a year before the North Koreans invaded the South.
4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company (MRBC) personnel sent to Pusan in August 1951 took over the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) station in the port.
Because of the rapidly changing front lines between the North and South during the war, transmitters and studios had to be set up in mobile vans to ensure continuous broadcasting.
After hastily deployed U.S. troops and South Korean forces established a final defensive perimeter around the port of Pusan, AFRS-FEN shipped WWII-era mobile radio vans to Korea. They became the spearhead of Armed Forces Korea Network (AFKN). AFRS Seoul was the first of nine stations established by AFKN by the end of 1954. It and three others were semi-permanent and five were 6 x 6 truck-mounted stations. Instead of using radio call letters, the mobile stations chose codenames like “Vagabond,” “Gypsy,” and “Homesteader.” Most AFKN stations broadcast 18 hours a day, seven days a week; 50 percent was locally-produced programs and the rest came pre-packaged from AFRS Pacific in Los Angeles, CA.6
Koreans who understood English preferred to listen to the lively AFRS radio programs broadcast for the U.S. military personnel. They were light, listening entertainment instead of “canned” Psywar, U.S. Information Service (USIS), and Radio Free Asia programs broadcast in Korean. Despite the proliferation of radio broadcasting in Korea, there was little coordination between the armed services, Department of State, and the quasi-private entities. The FECOM Public Information Officer (PIO) supervised FEN, hence the recruitment of Second Lieutenant (2LT) William F. Brown, II, 1st RB&L to serve as the Psywar liaison officer effectively linked the two elements.
It was a little different in Korea. 4th MRBC radio detachments oversaw all programming emanating from the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) stations.
The end of Allied Occupation in Japan on 28 April 1952 meant the U.S. had to pay for radio air time and studio leases. That did not happen in Korea until after the Armistice in 1953.
Some members of AFN who served during the Korean War gained great popularity. Some of AFN's esteemed alumni include America's Top 40 with Casey Kasem, who served in Korea in 1952 as a DJ and announcer. James E. Dooley, also known as Jim Perry, later became the host of the television shows "Card Sharks" and "Sale of the Century." "Happy Days" creator Garry Marshall joined the U.S. Army in 1956 and was stationed in Korea as a broadcaster and a print journalist for AFN during the Korean War.
When the Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953, AFNs mobile units became buildings with transmitters, and American Forces Korea Network (AFKN) was born. AFKN's first live television newscast aired Jan. 4, 1959. Connie Kang Munnelly worked for AFN at Yongsan in 1958 when it was just one room in the building. "I was a secretary, typing memos for my boss. There were several Koreans working in the building. Everything seemed to shine, and the men in uniform looked so sharp and handsome," she recalled.
AFKN would become a cultural and educational tool for Koreans across the peninsula. Local foreign language "hakwons," or institutes, offered "AFKN English" classes, designed to help Korean students improve their English listening and translation abilities. With the advent of digital television and AFN's efforts to provider better programming to the military community, AFKN disconnected analog over-the-air TV May 1, 2012. AFKN then became AFN-Pacific Korea, and AFN programming became available strictly to DOD-authorized personnel either free on installations through a cable service provided by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation or by satellite, allowing for American Forces Radio and Television Services to expand broadcasting of licensed television, sports and movie programing. "This allowed us to provide better programming and popular syndicated shows to our community," said Hoover. In 2015, American Armed Forces Exchange Service (AAFES) took over cable television services here in Korea.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Jazz Book 1962


One of America's great exports was jazz.  We've played a lot of it on AFRTS.  In 1962  Bill Kelly opened the pages of the "Jazz Book" with some wonderful music.  When I had the bigband show in Minneapolis Stan Kenton was one of my first guests.  Wonderful artist, great musician.  Give a listen.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Don Tracy 1993


Don earned his due in Connecticut radio, through WPOP, WNHC and WAVZ then to win in Los Angeles.
KGFJ, KDAY, KABC-TV, KNX as a sales executive, his own ad agency and editor of the R&B Report.

Pete Smith 1976


When I was in the field, the easy listening shows felt painful. As I "mature" I can understand the genius behind them. Thanks for asking, Chris!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Wolfman Jack 1976


Wolfman MC for ELO 1974
Here's our old friend Wolfman Jack with a 1976 memory.  I met him at LAX around that timeframe.  Great guy, only time I was just dumbfounded starstuck.


Friday, July 30, 2021

Humble Harv 1980


I few years ago, when I was doing the station for Roger Carroll, I was called by Harv.  He wanted a website with a lot of video.  Sounded like a great idea but it would be crazy time consuming to do well.  Nice guy.  Wish I could have pulled that off.

Humble Harve counted them down in the late 70s and 80s.