Monday, August 30, 2021

Ira Cook 1965

 




Ira was yet another Minnesotan, from Duluth.  He was an actor, composer and DJ.  His compositions include  "Pony Tail", "Sunday Barbeque", and "Your Theme" among  others .His Los Angeles broadcasting career spanned 26 years, sixteen of which were at KMPC. He served in the US Army during World War II. Ira started with AFRTS in 1961.  He retired in the early 1980s.  We lost Ira in 2007.

Joe Ferguson 1983

 


Joe Ferguson checking in from Portland OR and KUPL with The Joe Show.



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



 ARMED FORCES RADIO SERVICE (AFRS) PROVIDED NEWS COVERAGE OF "OPERATION BIG SWITCH" IN SOUTH KOREA ON AUGUST 5, 1953

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.
U.S. ARMED FORCES RADIO STATIONS IN POSTWAR JAPAN AND KOREA
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

Gene Price 1974

 

Garry sent this along a while back.  Gene Price started doing Army Recruiting shows for Roger Carroll Enterprises in 1974.  Here are the first two shows from January 1974.


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.