Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FEN Frank Knauer 1980

  
Chip Barus checks in:

"Stumbled across your website while looking for FEN archives to check on an on-air personality from the 79-81 time period. I was stationed at Kadena AB in that time frame. Went broke saving money on stereo equipment. Long story short, I bought an Akai reel to reel because I could. Been going back through the tapes to record them onto a hard-drive for safe keeping. Found a tape with two "East of Midnight" shows by Frank Knauer They were recorded on 11 and 18 October of 1980. One of them was the Typhoon Wynn broadcast complete with the typhoon warnings of the day. Just wondering if you had any info on Frank Knauer. Is he still around? Spent most of my tour there listening to the show as I was working swing shift for the entire tour. Great memories of the show and Frank."




I met Frank when we were in Korea.  I was at the station in the infantry division near North Korea.  Every building was war era temporary structures.  The opposite of that would have been Taegu, near the south coast.  One of the most beautiful bases I'd ever seen.  That was Frank's station.

This is from the October 11th 1980 broadcast.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lee Baylee 1939-2013



Lee Bayley
Birth: May 17, 1939 Siloam Springs Benton County Arkansas, USA
Death: Feb. 17, 2013 Tyler Smith County Texas,

USA Memorial services for Lee Bayley, 73, of Holly Lake Ranch will be 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at First United Methodist Church in Hawkins with the Rev. David Hicks officiating. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Croley Funeral Home in Hawkins. Mr. Bayley passed away suddenly Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, in a Tyler hospital. Mr. Bayley was born May 17, 1939, in Siloam Springs, Ark., to William and Eunice Mason Bayley. He graduated from Springdale High School in 1957. He was a veteran of the United States Army, was retired from the broadcast industry, had lived in Holly Lake Ranch for 11 years, retired from the Holly Lake Ranch Volunteer Fire Department and member of the First United Methodist Church in Hawkins. He is survived by his wife, Jeriann Bayley of Holly Lake Ranch; son, Stuart Lee Bayley of Carrollton, Texas; daughter, Suzanne Bayley Brooke of Heath, Texas; brother, Curt Bayley of Hindsville, Ark.; two grandchildren, Connor and Brendan.

Lee was a vet of CFN, later SCN the AFRTS station in the Panama Canal Zone in the early 1960s.

AFN Ray Tubberville 1973

 
 
Thanks to Phil for sharing.
 
Ed Tooma worked with Ray:
 
Ray and I worked together at AFN Berlin and at the Army Information Radio Service in Washington, D.C. Did we ever have fun doing production. I only wish I had kept the many spots and promo's we voiced together and we did some great character stuff too. Probably one of the most memorable spots was about us standing in that long unemployment line and deciding we'd be better off in the service. It became an AFN Frankfurt Network Radio break spot. Speaking of spots - it sure would be nice if everyone would share their production and send it to Thom so we could all go down memory lane together.

If any of you have the time drop me a line. I'd enjoy hearing from you.

Ed Tooma
MSG, USA Ret

AFNE 70-76
AFKN 80-81
AIRS 76-80, 81-85



Saturday, February 23, 2013

AFVN Hal Lamar

Hal Lamar 1971 AFVN
 
Thom:
I happened across your web site although I think I have written to you before (well they say its the second thing to go (ha).

A little update. you know, we had a Chris Stephens at afvn when i was there. his real name was John Allgood. we followed each other from AFVN to Fort Lewis, Washington to finish our hitches, (as did the late Gary Gears) . After that I lost track of him. Oddly, about a year or so ago, I got an email from his former wife, Laurie (Clemmons) who said sadly that John was found in California dead........I am also looking for my former roomate, Air Force Sergeant Arthur Burnett who did sports on AFVN. Anybody along the next who knows of his whereabouts can reach me at hallamar@comcast.net.
From October of 1971, to August of 1972, I was the host of "Soul Train" from 10am-12 midnight when i finished acting a total fool, Wolfman Jack came right behind me and zaniness continued. here are some names you might remember from your sojourns around afn:
herman griffith
barbara randolph
ruta lee
tom campbell-stateside
brother love with the love show
tony pigg
kim weston
don tracy
roland bynum
bob kingsley
There are more. You just can't remember them all. I had to play a lot of their transcriptions. as for me, I spent a total of 45 years in radio and journalism but health forced me to retire in 2008. I do still freelance on occasion with newspaper articles and radio pieces I submit to NPR and the American Urban Radio Network. After my first marriage failed, I lost nearly all my memorabilia. I do still have a photo or two and I'm attaching it with this letter. let me hear from you, especially if you happen to run into any of the gang froim 71 to 72.

peace and chicken grease
Hal

A Tale well calculated to keep you in... Suspense

 
AFRTS played a lot of Old Time Radio.  Some places we didn't have television.  Some places we had televison, but there were so many programming restrictions that it was hard to enjoy.  Sometimes the troops were in the field without televisions.  Most radio dramas from the 40s and 50s were available and reissued well into the 1980s.
 
"Suspense" was one of the last radio dramas, finally being cancelled in 1962.  This disk is the 1961 issue of a program broadcast on CBS October 8, 1961 "Dreams" starring Phillip Sterling.
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

RIP Colonel Robert Cranston


G. I. Broadcasting Pioneer
Colonel Robert Cranston Dies
by Andrew Guthrie

Huddleston, VA (Special)  Colonel Robert Cranston, the Iconic U-S Army broadcaster who waded ashore during the Normandy invasion,  and later, helped establish the  G. I. radio service, officially known as The American Forces Network, Europe,  (AFN,E)  has died at the age of 93. He was surrounded by his family, including his wife Sandy and her daughter Dr. Jennifer Burgart and other family members.

Colonel Cranston died Sunday evening 2/17/2013 at 6:35pm Eastern time at his Smith Mountain Lake home in Huddleston, Virginia of complications following heart surgery last November at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.   His death was announced by his wife of 19 years, Sandra K. “Sandy” Cranston.

AFN was the brainchild of Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower who felt American G. I. s  needed news, sports and music on the radio in English, to keep up their morale during the war, and afterward, serving with occupation forces.

Colonel Robert Cranston was born April 5th, 1919 in London, England.  His Scottish father George, who had immigrated to Canada and joined the Canadian Army,  was wounded in World War One.  While in the hospital he married his nurse, Louise, and Colonel Cranston was born a British citizen during his father's recovery.   His smother died when he was just six months old, and he was raised by her friends.  As a teenager, he rejoined his father in Canada, and became a U.S. citizen when his Dad got a job running powerful Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas, radio station  W B A P - AM.  That gave young Robert a firsthand knowledge of broadcasting.

In November of 1940, he enlisted for duty in the 124th Cavalry of the Texas National Guard.  At 22, he became Sergeant Major of the 51st Signal Battalion and was soon in Officer Candidate School, where, in 1943, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
48 hours after the initial Normandy invasion, Lt. Cranston waded ashore on Omaha Beach with his Signal Corps unit and later was wounded in combat during the “Battle of the Bulge.”   He  returned to duty in time to be part of the historic meeting between the U.S. and Russian armies at the Elbe river, just days before the Nazi surrender.  With Paris  liberated, AFN set up headquarters there, and now Captain Cranston was transferred from the Signal Corps to become executive office of the expanding AFN radio network. It was there he met General Eisenhower who became his mentor in Army broadcasting.

With the war over, Captain Cranston was temporarily assigned to the Information and Education Department of  The U.S. Army Europe, at AFN Headquarters, which had relocated to Hoechst, outside Frankfurt.  But, within months, he was needed in Salzburg,  Austria, to become the second commander of The (seperate and short-lived) Blue Danube Network under General Mark Clark. Its mission was to entertain and inform U. S. forces there.  The BDN soon became as popular with Austrians, as it was with The American military, and many learned English listening to it.
Almost two years later, the Pentagon called him back to Washington, where he became Chief of News and Special Events in the radio - TV Branch of the Information Office.  Soon, he was named the Army’s first “Television Officer,“ during which time, Cranston worked on such TV programs as NBC’s “Wide, Wide World,” and Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” on CBS.  He also served as technical advisor on The Phil Silvers Show, in which Silvers portrayed an Army Sergeant.
In 1960, now Lt. Colonel Cranston returned to Europe, to command  The American Forces Network, Europe, which by then was a 14-station AM and FM network in France, Germany, and Italy, broadcasting with more than one-million watts of power, and headquartered near Frankfurt, Germany.

Following his tour as AFN Commander, Colonel Cranston returned to the United States to take command of the now world-wide Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), headquartered in Los Angeles, California.  With a staff of more than 150, the service reached more than two million U-S military personnel in 35 countries and at dozens of U.S. Navy ships at sea. He was also instrumental in setting up Armed Forces Viet Nam (AFVN).
In one of the most significant achievements of his more than 30-year military career, Colonel Cranston negotiated an agreement with the three major radio and TV networks, and their unions,  to provide  their programs free of charge to the thousands of troops stationed around the world, via AFRTS. 

This achievement, saving the Pentagon millions, won the Colonel the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal, its highest award for meritorious service, which is normally reserved  for Generals. In addition, Colonel Cranston was awarded the Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and the Government of the Netherlands Medal of Merit. In 2001, he   was inducted into the Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame and was a lifetime member of the American Legion.  He retired from the Army in 1973 but served several more years as a civilian leader in military broadcasting. In 1983,after a combined total of 43 years in service to the United States,   he retired to Huddleston, Virginia.

In addition to his wife "Sandy," Colonel Cranston is survived by a sister, Ms. Pat Cranston of Seattle, a former Journalism professor at Washington State University, his Aunt, Katherine Wiley of Oakville, Ontario, Canada,  and daughters Dr. Jennifer Burgart, of Linville, North Carolina, Mrs. Matt Anderson, of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Mrs. Scott Young of Newport News, Virginia, and grandchildren Carson and Maria Anderson.  Colonel Cranston will be buried later this year at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Colonel Cranston and Sandy

Sunday, February 17, 2013

LaRita Shelby 1995

Another great aircheck from the George Schilli collection.  George grew up listening to AFN and became a broadcaster.  These were great teachers.

Still an amazing talent, be sure to visit her website at http://www.laritashelby.com

GI Jill - All Time Jukebox

We had Mary Turner, Chris Noel and Rebel Randall but it began with GI Jill. 

GI Jill with Bing Crosby



Martha Wilkerson (1908-99) was the first star built by the network.  During WWII she inherited the program GI Jive.  That was our response to Tokyo Rose and many similar shows being broadcast to our troops.  GI Jive was focused on the current hits.  Eventually there was an oldies show "Jill's All Time Jukebox", playing memories.

She continued with the network until at least 1949.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Colonel Cranston update 15 Feb 13


We lost Colonel Cranston 2/17/2013 
Here's the timeline

COLONEL CRANSTON UPDATE: HE'S FACING DEATH WITH A SMILE !
Posted by: "Andrew N Guthrie" TurtleLover64@aol.com guthrie_andrew
Date: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:15 am ((PST))
I have just gotten off the phone with Sandy and am pleased to report that Colonel Cranston is conscious and quite animated, and is talking, via sign and body language, with the staff at the Medical I C U and with Sandy and his step-daughter Jennifer. Sandy says he is excited about going home, where he wishes to die. He has lived on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake in Southwestern Virginia for the better part of the last 25-years and, having visited his home, I can tell you it is quite beautiful.
At this time, Sandy has told me that yes, he wishes to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery where a plot has already been reserved for him next to a previous wife who is already buried there. Sandy says it will be at least a month and probably much longer before the burial takes place, with full military honors.. That gives me plenty of time to secure a Master Bag Piper and I have already gotten the information on the Alexandria Pipe Band and will contact them soon to begin the selection process. I'm no expert, but I have attended more than 40 Scottish Games and other events, and I know good piping when I hear it.
I want to thank one of my AFN pals for offering to help me offset the cost of the piper. I will have much more on that later. Right now, I continue to wrestle with his obit to get the timeline correct, and to include his huge history in just two pages, and to contact the various News Media to alert them to the fact it will be coming.
Please continue to hold Bob and Sandy and step-daughter, Dr. Jennifer, in your prayers, and for the Colonel, a painless and peaceful journey to the next world where many former AFNers await him.
Respectfully,
Andrew
Army Pfc. (by Colonel's order) Andrew Guthrie AFN Headquarters Newsroom
1960-61 Frankfurt am Hoechst
Andrew N Guthrie
turtlelover64@aol.com

Monday, February 11, 2013

Charlie Tuna 1993


 
Been too long since we've heard from Charlie Tuna.  This is part two of a show presented earlier.  Charlie is still on the air, and still brings the magic that he brought to WMEX so long ago.  Visit Charlie's website at http://www.charlietuna.com and say hi!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Kris Erik Stevens Christmas 1979


Kris Erik Stevens was a longtime star of ours.  When you go to the movies and the DJ sounds like someone very familiar, you've heard him before.

From Krismas 1979, the American Disco Network presents Kris Erik Stevens.