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)

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.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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

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

JIm Pewter 1968


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

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.

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.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Rebel Randall 1951


Rebel Randall

After GI Jill and the "GI Jive" and before Chris Noel and a "Date With Chris", we had Rebel Randall and "Jukebox USA".  It was a Korean War program.  Downbeat magazine had said that her show was cancelled after high ranking officers had decided that she was sounding too sexy.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Charlie Tuna 1974


Charlie was a distinctive voice, waking the world for a quarter century.  I'm pretty sure no one else can make that claim.  It was a shame when we lost him.  Be sure to visit his website

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Chris Noel 1969


Chris Noel was the voice of home to a lot of troops, halfway around the world and counting the days back to the real world.It's a Wednesday in 1969 with Date With Chris.  Please help fellow vets by making a contribution to Chris's "Vetsville Cease Fire House" 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Roger Carroll 1969


I'll always be grateful to Roger for sharing these memories. .  Roger brings you the Happy Hour and once again in fine fettle.  Time for the Best Sounds in Town!

Roland Bynum 1983


Soulin' with Roland.  The party starts NOW...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Enchantment Of Music 1964

Over the years AFRTS presented a lot of classical music. For a lot of our listeners, it was the introduction to styles of music that they hadn't heard before. "Enchantment of Music" was originally from KCBH-FM, Beverly Hills. They presented their shows in "the matchless fidelity of frequency modulation".   The station was also the first one for The Real Don Steele.

Did we ever actually run these on FM stations?

KCBH sounds like a very interesting place Here's their tribute website

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

GI Journal 1943

 Incredible the depth of talent, giving their all for the troops:

G. I. Journal. November 5, 1943. Program #16.  The first tune is, "I Know That You Know." Arthur Q. Bryan, Georgia Carroll, Harry Babbitt, Harry Mitchell (announcer), Merwyn Bogue, Jerry Colonna, Kay Kyser and His Orchestra, Linda Darnell, Mel Blanc, Sully Mason (vocals). 29:53.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Joe Allison 1969


Joe Allison brought country music to the world on the Country Corner.  Before Joe, the music was mostly "hillbilly".  As a writer, producer, performer and DJ he brought it to the rest of America.  Here's a 1969 visit.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Rocketing Rhythms 1961

We counted them down.  The first rock countdown show was Rocketing Rhythms, usually hosted by Jack Brown.  Today Jack is on vacation and KLACs Bill Stewart steps in with the hits from the pages of Cash Box.  Here are the pre-Beatles years hits!

Roland Bynum 1981


Creator's Workshop is still creating..
Roland is still on the air in Los Angeles on weekends and sounding better than ever.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dick Sinclair 1961

 Dick Sinclair has a special piece in AFRTS history.  He was in the first group of broadcasters to train at Fox Movie Studio for the new network.  During WWII he has at the Guadalcanal station.  After the war he was "Polka Party" on both radio and television for many years.

Standing, Left to Right: Allen Botzer, Dick Sinclair, Jack (Ivan) Saddler, Rudy Luukinen, Al Taylor.
Sitting, Left to Right: George Dvorak, Rudy Rubin, Hy Averback, Spence Allen, Will Kennedy.

More about the first AFRS crew at smecc Click here

More Dick Sinclair

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Charlie Tuna 1986


Charlie in Boston 1965, he worked there with "Johnnie" Lujack.

The scary part of listening to a lot of Charlie Tuna shows is the end. It's amazing how many of the affiliate locations don't exist anymore or don't have an AFRTS station (I have the one for SCN as the logoff sound on one of my computers, "before we say goodbye.."). It's always great listening. Thanks again Charlie!

Charlie's website :

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

AFPN Hitmakers 1975


Richard Clemmons AFPN 

"Hitmakers" was completed at the Far East Network Philippines in 1975 and required 20 hours to air. We realized that “19 Years of Hit Music” had outdated itself as soon as it aired, but the response to the show was an overwhelming approval.  I began immediately writing “The Hitmakers” to replace it. The first task was writing intros and closes and coming up with the "sound" that would be the program. The opening explosion is from an AFRTS sound effects recording of an atomic bomb.  The deep voice saying “The Hitmakers”  is mine, slowed down by wrapping the tape deck capstan with scotch tape until the desired effect was reached. Next, obviously, are the Rolling Stones “It’s Only Rock & Roll.” The open  ; close announcer is Vic Pinzon followed by Bill Haley  ; The Comets “Rock Around The Clock,” kept from “19 Years” as a recognizable tie to the previous show.  The voice of the song intros and outros is mine. The theme music for “World Headline News  ; Sports” is “Baroque Hoedown” from the LP “Kaleidoscopic Vibrations” by Perrey Kingsley. The Announcer introducing the news and sports is Steve Bagget (Marine Sergeant), somehow left out of the closing credits, I really don’t know why. The news inserts were written by Sandy Dellar, Air Force dependent wife, voiced by Jim Estep. Sports inserts were written by Rich Yanku and voiced by Charlie Kemplin. Gene Pickett was still the radio supervisor.  The closing theme is “Storefront Lawyers” by the Ventures. Originally broadcast on AFPN (FEN Philippines) January 1, 1975 it is revived now for AFRTS Archive.  Thank you Thom Whetston.  Your dedication to keeping alive the incredible efforts of AFRTS alumni worldwide is deeply appreciated.  I hope everyone enjoys hearing “The Hitmakers” now as much as I, in retrospect,  and everyone involved in the production, enjoyed creating it.
Jerry Lewine was vacationing in the Philippines in 2011 and went looking for Clark AFB

Hi Thom,
It took a lot of scouring around what used to be Clark Air Base to find where AFPN was. Unfortunately there is nothing left at all. According to what I was able to find out, all the buildings were destroyed by the eruption on Mt Pinatubo and when the ash was cleared, so were the remains of the AM/FM/TV station. There is even a building on top of where the tower used to be. Attached is a shot I took the other day of what is on the site now. So much for my trip down memory lane…


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Chris Noel 1967

Chris Noel in Vietnam
The first hundred plus shows have been recorded and she's finding her groove.  Here's more memories.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Monitor 1966


Monitor was hard to describe.  NBC took soft news features, great talent and some comedy and music.  It was ahead of it's time.  There's a website dedicated to the show Monitor Beacon
AFRTS had the show.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Chris Noel 1971


Chris personified the "girl next door" with her show a Date With Chris.  A while back she made hundreds of hours of her shows available to us.  Thanks again my friend.