Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Big Picture - Story of The American Forces Network 1965

AFVN Newsletter - April 1969

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Ed Masters, international man of mystery


I was paging through an AFKN yearbook.  I knew all of the places and some of the people.  Ed Masters I've always wondered about.  Ed came to AFKN from FEN (prior to John Buey) during the Korean War, was there when I was 25 years later.  Well over 30 years as a DAC is a story in itself.  Ed's legs were were handicapped.  He never was.  His pain had him awake and monitoring the network 24 hours a day.  I'd make a mistake.  Ed's on the batphone patiently explaining how to do it correctly.  I learned a lot.  At the time it was said that he was a rising star in radio, his niece said that a motorcycle accident put an end to that.  Normally such things are easy enough to get details about.  Ed just seems to start with the Korean war, 

 
 

Navy SITE

Here's the lowdown on how the Navy made it happen on the ships, from Jim Harrington

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Clem Shamus "Ballad of The Plain Steel Pot"

When I was at AFKN in the 2d Division in 1977, someone came up with a 45rpm copy of Ballad of the Plain Steel Pot by Clem Shamus. It was popular I was curious and Clem is fan of the blog, I asked him about it:

Clem Shamus from the 1966 AFKN yearbook

Hi Thom, I wrote Ballad of the Plain Steel Pot while at AFKN in 1966. I took a leave and flew to San Antonio, TX to record it for Brazos Records. "Green Beret" was hot (became #1 for the year), but Brazos got tied up with Xmas music for kids and didn't get it out until the spring of 67. I was of course back in Korea (NCOIC of radio in Seoul) and had no control of any kind so I don't know what, if any promotion, distribution or anything about it. They sent me 500 copies and they were sold and the money donated to an orphanage. It was impossible to get around to promote it over there and I of course was busy with the day job.


Update: Clem's wife shared the following with the AFVN group:

"Clem passed away yesterday 5/27/12. He was totally at peace with the very difficult decision he made. It was peaceful and surrounded by the ones that loved him most. Myself, 3 of 5 children and his brother
and sister-in-law."

Pearl Of The Orient - The Phillipines

In the late 1940s, radio was changing.  AFRS had a mission of educating and did several productions of their own with great casts.  In 1947  Daws Butler and Howard Culver starred in this production of "Pearl Of The Orient" a story of the Philippines.

AFN Jack Benny Memorial 1974

Does Radio still do documentaries? PBS televison here was celebrating the life of Jack Benny. We lost Jack in 1974. Herb Glover and AFN had a tribute on the air almost immediately. Great work.


Monday, February 13, 2012

AFN Frankfurt "Country Roads" Summer 1980

Jim Rattan hosts for the vacationing Harry Johnson with your country favorites.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

105 year old AFRS network vet is still around

Pete Peterson with Lauren Becall

Pete Peterson was the first head of AFRS,
He's 105 years old, and still around.

A radio show with no listeners. Camp Casey 1977


Korea 1977, about six months after Operation Paul Bunyan so the paranoia level was high.  As an excercise they moved the 2nd Infantry Division south of Uijongbu for the day.  Pretty much everything except the DMZ guards.  Except me.  Division demanded that I stay and do a show so the North Koreans wouldn't notice that as being different.  So for 3 hours I'm rocking, and so is the quonet hut because there's a steady stream of Mech vehicles driving by and helicopters flying over.  The station at Camp Casey was on the main road.  When it was over, quiet.  Spooky quiet,  A handful of guards between me and the commies.  I had worked in small markets, closed circuit stations, a high school station.  That was the day I did a show for no audience.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bremerhaven 1971

Thanks to Dave Stewart for sharing these:
Vic Sage – Bruno Goephert  (Tech) – Uschi Hartman (Secretary) – John Cassidy (Tech) – Mark Winship (Announcer) – Fred Baecker (Engr) – Dave Stewart (Station Manager)

Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart and Paul Drake

Hal Hill and Joe D'Alusio

Monday, February 6, 2012

DINFOS

I was just reading the 1968 DINFOS course catalog.  Interesting stuff.  In 1968 they were ramping up the training.  In 1966 the Broadcast Specialist Course was 3 weeks long.  Sounds scary.

In the 1976 I went through it at Ft Ben.  Good teachers, Bob Runda, Monte Jones, Joe Ciokon, Larry Rogers (most of them on the mailing list).  Learned a lot of things that helped me in the industry for years to come. 

And of course with beer machines, youth and parties a memorable time.

What did you remember most about the DINFOS?

Jingles again!


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



Bob Kingsley 1979


If you've been around here for a while, you've heard Bob Kingsley.  He did a rock show for the network in the mid-70s.  After that it was wordwide fame with American Country Countdown.

Bob was one of us, he did a tour at the Iceland station.  Rumor has it that he carved his name into the board.  There have been a lot of requests for this.  Bob Kingsley 1979


AFRS Sound Off Bill Goodwin 1943

Bill Goodwin


I guess there could be quite a project in who was the first network DJ with AFRS.  Bill Goodwin was one of the first with "Sound Off".  "Sound Off" was a request show, with dedications for the troops.

Mr Goodwin was most notable as the announcer/foil for George Burns on his television show in the 50s.  We lost Mr. Goodwin in 1958.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

AFVN Det 5 anniversary 02/05/2012

 From Robert Moorecook at the  AVFN Yahoo group.

Today is the 44th year after Det 5 Hue was overrun.
I encourage you to take a moment to remember this brave men who served there.

American Forces Vietnam Network - AFVN
Prisoners of War
Six men assigned to AFVN were taken prisoner during the Vietnam war, five spending about five years in captivity before being released. The sixth, Steven Stroub, was executed shortly after capture. The AFVN'ers were captured when the detachment at Hue was overrun -- following a fierce fire fight during the Tet holiday -- on Feb 5, 1968.

Two other men also died that day at AFVN. SGT Thomas Franklin Young, USMC was Killed in Action in that fight. Also killed that day was Courtney Niles, a civilian with NBC International, who died defending the station. One AFVN'er escaped.

Details follow --

John Thomas Anderson - POW

John Bagwell - Escaped

James V. Di Bernardo - POW

John A. Deering - POW

Harry Lawrence Ettmueller - POW

Donat J. Gouin - POW

Courtney Niles, Civilian Contractor - Killed in Action

Steven J. Stroub - Captured and Executed

Thomas Franklin Young - Killed in Action

More information at Robert's website