Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chris Noel 1968

Chris Noel is an amazing story if you haven't heard it already take a look at her website.

She still does so much more than she has too.  Vetsville is a homeless shelter for veterans that she keeps running.  Make a contribution, go to her website and buy something.  It helps.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Solitary Singer - 1951

Terry (Ted) Gilkyson was an ex-Air Force PAO type and had this show where he'd tell stories of American history through folk music.  AFRTS was experimenting with producing entertainment programming on a limited budget.  This worked well.

Terry was a performer/songwriter.  If you ever heard the Easyriders version of "MaryAnn" you heard Terry's biggest song.  He also wrote "Memories are Made of This", which was huge for Dean Martin.

By the 1960s, he was working for Disney studios.  Among other things, wrote "Bare Necessities" in Jungle Book.

We Lost Terry in 1999.

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Jim Pewter 1981


Picture from Jim Pewter, copyright Playgound Productions

Barry White was a big man, with a big voice and a big talent.  He stopped in to talk with our friend Jim Pewter.  Jim and Barry had been friends since 1966, producing sessions for Mustang and Bronco records in Los Angeles.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Turn Back the Clock 1958

Andy and Virginia Mansfield brought their brand of oldies to NBC and shortly around that time to AFRTS.

AFRTS at 50, FEN at 30

The history of AFRTS was published by AFRTS in 1993 to celebrate the anniversary. It's been impossibly out of print. This is a reprint. If you'd like to read it online Click here

Far East Network

The Far East Network was headquartered out of Japan and at times FEN was the callsign of stations in several countries. There was an interesting history. Air Force SGT Jim Dougherty has the highlights of the first 30 years.

FEN 30th anniversary 1975
More of our anniversaries

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Roland Bynum 1973

The shows that Roland Bynum did for the USAF are hard to find.  This one I picked up several years ago and could not get it to track.  I tried several times.  In the time since I have picked up a Disk Washer record cleaner.  Cleaned it, it tracks.  Thank you Disk Washer!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Gene Price 1974

It's January of 1974.  It's the first month of Gene Price doing the recruiting shows for Roger Carroll's company.  I heard these on Sunday mornings in Minneapolis.  Just one of many things that eventually had me in America's All Volunteer Force.  Take a listen:

Charlie Tuna 1993

Been too long since we've heard from Charlie Tuna.  Charlie always brought magic, KOMA, WMEX, AFRTS and seemingly every radio station in southern California. Visit Charlie's website at 

Ira Cook 1977

From 1977, it's the most recent visit we have with the Ira Cook show:

Mary Helen Barro 1983

Let's pause for a little break con la musica mas buena in el mundo.  Mary Helen Barro brought latin music worldwide over AFRTS.  Here's a 1983 visit.

Charlie Tuna 1982

Charlie Tuna

Charlie Tuna spent a quarter century entertaining the troops on AFRTS and showing us how it was done. Time for another visit.  It's 1982 "Stay Tuna'd".Visit Charlie's website at interesting stories, histories and your chance to get on the boards and say what the Charlie Tuna Show meant to you.

Joe Allison 1969

Birth Name: Joe Marion Allison
Birth Date: October 03, 1924
Place of Birth: McKinney, Texas 
Deceased: August 02, 2002
Place of Death: Nashville, TN

Joe Allison had a phenomenal career.  Take a look at his biography at the Nashville Songwriters Foundation, Click Here
From that wonderful cache of late 60s shows, here's Joe in 1969 with the Country Corner:

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wolfman Jack 1972

Wolfman is available in syndication and could warm the hearts of your listeners... More information

Jim Pewter 1979

This is nice, about an hour excerpts of Jim's shows with the music not scoped.   We went to different high schools together.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Happy 75th Birthday!

Defense Media Activity
AFN Broadcast Center (Public Affairs)
News Release
Media Contact: +1 (951) 413-2319
Public Contact
DSN 312-248-1319

No. 06-2017 - May, 9, 2017

AFN: Serving the Overseas American Military Community for 75 Years

George A. Smith

The American Forces Network (AFN) provides overseas U.S. military, DOD civilians and their families force protection information and a touch of home with radio and television entertainment, news and sports.

The Armed Forces Radio service began May 26, 1942. Since then, America’s military broadcast
network has operated under many different names. AFN followed American warriors wherever they
served, even on U.S. Navy ships afloat. Today, the overseas military audience we serve knows us
simply as “AFN.”

While millions of Americans serving overseas have tuned in AFN for popular entertainment, the network has served as a crucial tool for commanders to reach the force and their families, both on and off military installations, with critical information.

During World War II, the network communicated messages to American forces advancing in Europe via mobile radio vans. In 1991, broadcasters in the Philippines became a lifeline when the Mt. Pinatubo volcano erupted catastrophically and forced evacuation. Amid the horrors of September 11, 2001, AFN communicated force protection guidance from commanders, regarding additional security measures and threat vulnerabilities, updates on airline flights and travel and provided information on the changing global threat level. When the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, AFN coordinated its radio, TV and social media platforms to provide real time updates on damage, recovery efforts and ongoing hazards. Following the 2016 terrorist attack at the Brussels airport, AFN Benelux became the American military’s trusted source for real-time information, synchronizing radio coverage and Facebook posts in a series of force protection updates spanning the attack and its aftermath 

Today’s AFN stations enjoy advantages unimagined generations ago. Radio is now just one part of a force protection and entertainment triad that includes television and social media. Once a single channel, radio now offers a dozen different audio services and streaming Internet radio. A single channel of AFN television was a big deal a generation ago. Now, the network offers eight. Social media didn’t exist in 1942. Now every station and the AFN Broadcast Center use social media to interact with the audience.

More enhancements are on the way. Later this year, the AFN Broadcast Center will send out all eight
television channels in high definition and field a new decoder allowing direct-to-home customers to record programs on two channels while watching, pausing and fast-forwarding a third. Sailors serving afloat will get their AFN sports, news and entertainment in dramatically improved clarity.

What hasn’t changed in the past 75 years is that the American Forces Network continues to provide the most deserving audience in the world, America’s warriors, with a touch of home, by providing real time force protection messages, and the very best live entertainment, news and sports from the United States.

Roger Carroll 1969

Roger is streaming 24/7 with Gene Price, Roland Bynum, Robert W. Morgan and Billy Pearl.

The Best Sounds in Town.  Roger is sharing some wonderful radio with us.  When the AFRTS-LA talent would record their shows, every week they would be sent copies of their programs on LP.  The same disks we played in the field.  But a familiar DJ story is not seeing the value in airchecks until years later.  Most of the talent didn't save them  Roger saved a lot of them and is making them available to us.

Today it's late 1969... and time for the Roger Carroll show!

Roland Bynum 1980

It seems like yesterday.  Great music and wonderful talent.  Here's a 1980 visit to the Creators Workshop.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Chris Noel 1968

 Chris Noel

A while back I was called by someone with a week of Chris Noel shows.  He wanted to know if I was interested.  Safe assumption that was.  So from late 1968, A Date With Chris

Laura Lee - Jazzbeat 1985

We played a lot of jazz well into the 1980s and spread the music worldwide. In 1986 Laura Lee hosted the Jazz Beat, give a listen:

AFRTS 1979

In October 1979 Vincente was recording the Torrejon station.  We'll hear from our AFRTS-LA friends  Kris Erik Stevens, Wolfman, Johnnie Darin and a bunch of surprises.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jubilee 1944

Ernie Whitman

What a great show.  In the early years, Jubilee featured the best African-American entertainment.  On this new Transfer it's Ernie "Bubbles Whitman" hosting Tiny Bradshaw, Loumell Morgan and more.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Purple Grotto 1967

Al "Jazzbo" Collins was quite a talent, broadcasting from the "purple grotto", inspired by horrible paint in the WNEW studios..

"I started my broadcast in Studio One which was painted all kinds of tints and shades of purple on huge polycylindricals which were vertically placed around the walls of the room to deflect the sound. It just happened to be that way. And with the turntables and desk and console and the lights turned down low, it had a very cavelike appearance to my imagination. So I got on the air, and the first thing I said was, "Hi, it's Jazzbo in the Purple Grotto." You never know where your thoughts are coming from, but the way it came out was that I was in a grotto, in this atmosphere with stalagtites and a lake and no telephones. I was using Nat Cole underneath me with "Easy Listening Blues" playing piano in the background."

There was a very jazzy imagery.

In 1967, Al "Jazzbo" Collins brought a retrained Purple Grotto to AFRTS.

Bill Stewart 1969

He sure kept it jazzy.  Heck of a jock Bill Stewart.  Do you have any pictures of him?

Jim Pewter 1988

Jim Pewter

Jim was an amazing oldies jock.  He was one of us at AFKN in 1965 and took Los Angeles by storm.  Let's see why..

Friday, July 28, 2017

Don Tracy 1980

The weekend came blasting like a freight train.  Here's Don Tracy, making a Friday rock..

Interlude 1972

Interlude was one of the many "Music for Colonels" shows.  Soft symphonic music for the dinner hour, or evening, or overnight.  Through most of the history of the network, we played this music.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Chris Noel - 1969

Thank you Chris Noel for sharing the memories.  A few years ago Chris called and asked if I'd like to be able to share these shows.  She had saved most of them.  That was an easy question.  She had finished doing the show before I enlisted but at the station at the 2d Infantry division had saved hundreds of these.  I thought they were perfect radio.  Then and now.

Let's remember 1969 with A Date With Chris.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Joe Ferguson 1983

It's 1983 and the return of the Joe Show, Joe Ferguson from Portland OR

Roger Carroll

Roger Carroll, Gene Price, Roland Bynum and more. 24 hours a day streaming. Kinda sounds like our stations 

If you're not in the United States, you have to use a proxy to listen. Click here for proxy information.

Your suggestions and comments are welcome Click here

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Herman Griffith 1967

Herman Griffith leads the records caravan in this 1967 visit.

Ira Cook 1965

Ira Cook was born in Duluth MN in 1916.  He graduated Stanford in basic medical science. He had three decades in radio, sixteen years of that at KMPC.  Other stops included KFAC, KABC and KVFM.  Ira was a WWII vet “During World War II I was at the Battle of the Bulge and we lost 10-15 guys in my platoon”.  He started with AFRTS in 1961 and was still with us in the 1970s.  Ira was also a songwriter.  Some of his compositions include “Pony Tail”, “Sunday Barbecue” and “Your Theme”.  We lost Ira in 2007.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

AFRTS shortwave 1964

Click to enlarge

When I was a kid in the late 60s sometimes I'd catch AFRTS-W on the shortwave, I remember it as continuous news items and pretty cool.

In 1964 the shortwave service ran a lot of news/public affairs but also ran entertainment programming. Ira Cook, Perry Como, Hawaii Calls, CBS Radio Workshop, Les Crane and more.  It was a full service station.

Mary Helen Barro 1983

After Vance Graham, there were a few false starts but eventually they found Mary Helen Barro for the Latin show.  It's a Thursday in 1983, Vamos...

Joe Allison 1969

Joe's excited.  Program 1500 of the Country Corner.  That should be six full years.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Green Slime - 1969

Today (July 18, 2017) I saw the movie The Green Slime (1969) again on cable channel Turner Classic Movies (TCM). It aired at 12:45 p.m. EDT. The thing about The Green Slime was that the monsters were not "green" and were not "slimey". Their alien blood however, was "green".

To my knowledge, this is the only Tokyo-made movie that featured the FEN Production Director, Leonard "Bud" Widom (FEN 1964-1969), in fourth billing, along with dozens of FEN enlisted personnel and wives as "extras". I recognized SSGT Larry Rogers, now called Frank Rogers, in a "party" scene.

The movie was actually filmed in 1968 from studios that were located on the road, as you drove from the "back gate" of Grant Heights FHA to Momote Village.

Some FEN announcers may have been given "bit" parts where they spoke a few words. All the performers were "round-eye"; there were no Japanese actors visible. They all had "appropriate" haircuts for 1968, and senior enlisted personnel (E-7 to E-9) stood out. There were many 20-something females featured from somewhere, but not FEN who had only dependents available.

The Green Slime was featured on TCM with a group of "horror" movies that were considered "camp" or Grade B. The Green Slime was also the premiere movie of the parody-series Mystery Science Theater 3000. That was the series where the host and two robot-puppets were super-imposed on theater seating in opaque and added snarky commentary as the movie was super-imposed behind them.

I was at FEN in 1969 when the movie premiered on the Japanese AAFMPS circuit, to much hoopla and fanfare, in October 1969, at North Camp Drake and Grant Heights Theaters.

Don Browne "LT", FEN Tokyo 1969-1971

Gene Price - 1974

On the Gene Price front, he's going through some health issues and will probably end up in rehab.  There are reasons to be optimistic but I think he's appreciate your prayers.

In 1973 Roger Carroll started the ball rolling on the recruiting shows you may remember from Sunday mornings in the states.  He had the best talent, Gene Price, Roland Bynum, Robert W. Morgan, Billy Pearl and himself.  This is from January 1974, the first Gene Price Country Express.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

AFKN video production 1977

AFKN video production 1977.  So that's how it was done 40 years ago... and kinescopes...

Thanks Linda!  High tech is us.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Turn Back the Clock - 1958

Andy and Virginia Mansfield did a charming, quirky show with records from Andy's personal collection.  These are the oldies.

Charlie Tuna - 1982

Charlie Tuna and Sugar Ray Leonard

Charlie Tuna has always been a champ.  This broadcast is from around the Leonard/Duran "no mas" fight.  That was a night to be in Panama.

Jingle Jangle...

Grab a bunch of TPs, the currents and some jingles!  You're late for The Morning show!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bob Kingsley 1974

Bob was an AFRS Keflevik vet (1960), then a career of jocking around Los Angeles before becoming the longtime voice of American Country Countdown for many years. In the mid-70s he was doing an AFRTS rock show. Bob is still Doing the Country Top 40 Visit the website, listen to the show!

Bob Kingsley - 1974

More Bob Kingsley

Wolfman Jack 1975

Hey another Minnesotan!  Not really.  Bob Smith was a New Yorker that ended up running KUXL a soul station in Minneapolis.  That's where he worked out his act before working at the border blasters in Mexico.  Here's a 1975 visit with Wolfman.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

LaRita Shelby 1994

There is a party going on, with LaRita Shelby.  She shared several programs with us and I'm thankful.
If you haven't heard "Date With a Song"  you really should.  Light, jazzy but not muzaky.  Information at

Golden Days Of Radio - 1968

In 1968 Frank Bresee started doing the Golden Days of Radio.  Frank had been a radio star in the 1940s and brought back the memories. The show was most often a potpourri of the best of radio.  Radio dramas and comedy were on AFRTS for many many years.  We still had multiple places with no television station.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mary Turner 1983

Mary Turner and Ted Nugent

Mary Turner was the opposite of GI Jill and Chris Noel, a broadcaster that was a female, it kept with the times, yet still was the girl left behind.

When Mary started her show we were concerned about how an hour of slamming rock and roll would go over.  I knew the troops would love it but the Colonel?  The Canal Zone civilians?  They really liked to complain.  It went over great and was a wonderful addition.

Roland Bynum 1980

It's a Monday in 1980, but don't let that get you down.  Soulin' and Roland...a perfect combination. Here's Roland Bynum with another hour of favorites. And still lookin good...

Bill Stewart - 1967

Today Bill Stewart's guest is Rudy Vallee.  Rudy was the biggest of the big in the 1920s and kept going for five decades.  It's a fun listen.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AFRTS Program Materials


LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Identify the radio program materials available from AFRTS.
This section briefly describes the various radio program materials available from AFRTS-BC. It is important for you to know the contents and abbreviations for each package, since you will rely on them for most of your day-to-day radio programming needs. If you need more detailed information, see the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) Program Materials, DoD Directive 5120.20-R, Appendix F.

AFRTS-BC ships 80 hours of radio program materials to their AM outlets per week. More than half of the weekly package consists of current music programs featuring major-market DJs. The music heard on these programs is the same as played on many popular music FM stations across the United States. Another portion of the weekly package consists of recordings of the latest hits according to various music charts. To provide the widest possible variety of radio programming, AFRTS-BC includes religious, talk, drama, variety and other program formats in the weekly package.
FM stations also are furnished with program packages. The stations receive a basic FM package along with taped stereo music shipments consisting of vocals and instrumentals.

The radio unit package (RU) contains approximately one-half (30 hours) of the total radio programming package and is generally undated. It is routed through circuits of one or two outlets. In the RU package you will find weekly religious shows, dramas, features, variety shows and information "fillers." Under normal circuiting (routing), one unit is available for broadcast and two other RUs are either at the station or enroute.

Teaming with the RU package to provide full AFRTS radio entertainment is the radio priority/library package (RP/L). This weekly package has two parts - the radio priority package (RP) and the radio library package (RL).
Radio Priority Package (RP)
The RP package contains approximately 45 hours of timely (dated) materials, including chart music programs, and is shipped to each authorized radio station for immediate broadcast. Because the RPs contain timely material, they have no value after they are aired and include instructions for immediate local destruction. RPs are authorized only for stations that receive the RU package.
Radio Library Package (RL)
The RL package contains approximately six hours of individual recorded music cuts on CD for retention as permanent library material. Because RL material is designed for permanent library retention, shipments continue during temporary periods when other programming may be suspended. A computer floppy disk, containing artist and title information, is included in each shipment. The CDs in the RL package are accountable items and periodic inventories are mandatory.
Stations authorized to receive the RP/L package also receive the American Top 40 and the American Country Countdown programs as a separate RP shipment labeled 40-C. Like the RP unit, materials in 40-C are destroyed after airing.

The radio tape package (RT) is a weekly audiotape shipment consisting of approximately 84 hours of RU, RP, 40-C and special information items for authorized ships and selected shore-based stations. Packages contain 14 7-inch tapes recorded at 3 3/4 ips in a fro-track monaural format that can be run on simple automation or manual playback systems. At the end of each recorded track, a 25-hertz tone cues tape reversal and automatic switching to the next track, enabling small radio operations with the proper equipment to automate a full broadcast day. RT units are returned to the duplication contractor after airing so the tapes and shipping containers can be recycled. Outlets authorized to receive the RT package will not receive the RU, RL or 40-C shipments.

Occasionally, your station may receive the radio materials (RM) shipment. It may contain entertainment or information programs, holiday specials, special features, spots or production aids. The type and timeliness of the material will determine whether the RM is shipped on CD or tape and which outlets will receive it.

The three packages available under the heading of FM tape services are FM library (FML), FM program (FMP) and FM religious (FMR). These tapes provide alternate programming for authorized outlets with second broadcast frequencies or cable distribution channels. Tapes are recorded in four-track stereo at 3 3/4 ips on 10 1/2-inch reels. Cue tones are prerecorded on the tapes for automation equipment.

The FML unit is a monthly shipment of roughly 24 hours of library music in three formats - beautiful music, adult contemporary and country. It is designed for permanent retention by the station.

The FMP unit is a quarterly shipment consisting of about 26 hours of hosted stereo programs.

The FMR unit is a religious music program service that includes 12 55-minute hosted programs in each shipment.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

AFN Nightside - Craig Miller

Nightside was a little bit of everything.  Craig Miller was a part of it.  Definitely good radio.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Jim Pewter 1980

Jim Pewter is back with a "Beach Party Reunion", songs of summer and surf.
Here comes summer...