(5 stars; 1 reviews)

The biggest names in Hollywood and Broadway recorded for AFRS during the war years, The American Forces Network can trace its origins back to May 26, 1942, when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). The U.S. Army began broadcasting from London during World War II, using equipment and studio facilities borrowed from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The first transmission to U.S. troops began at 5:45 p.m. on July 4, 1943 and included less than five hours of recorded shows, a BBC news and sports broadcast. That day, Corporal Syl Binkin became the first U.S. Military broadcaster heard over the air. The signal was sent from London via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to reach U.S. troops in the United Kingdom as they made preparations for the inevitable invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. Fearing competition for civilian audiences the BBC initially tried to impose restrictions on AFN broadcasts within Britain (transmissions were only allowed from American Bases outside London and were limited to 50 watts of transmission power) and a minimum quota of British produced programming had to be carried. Nevertheless AFN programmes were widely enjoyed by the British civilian listeners who could receive them and once AFN operations transferred to continental Europe (shortly after D-Day) AFN were able to broadcast with little restriction with programmes available to civilian audiences across most of Europe (including Britain) after dark. As D-Day approached, the network joined with the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to develop programs especially for the Allied Expeditionary Forces. Mobile stations, complete with personnel, broadcasting equipment, and a record library were deployed to broadcast music and news to troops in the field. The mobile stations reported on front line activities and fed the news reports back to studio locations in London.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



AFRS 017 - Sound Off 1942 14:28
AFRS 018 - Sound Off 1942 14:22
AFRS 024 - Blondie - Guest Fanny Brice 10-08-44 27:11
AFRS 024 - Command Performance - Cary Grant - Judy Garland - Woody Herman 07-28… 29:45
AFRS 026 - Jubilee - Louis Armstrong 05-24-43 29:23
AFRS 028 - GI Journal - Bob Hope 01-14-44 30:42
Afrs031-CommandPerformance-BingCrosby-AbbottCostello-KayKyser08-30-42 29:34
AFRS 033 - GI Journal - Bing Crosby 03-03-44 29:22
AFRS 04 - Sports Quiz 30:48
AFRS 044 - Kollege Of Musical Knowledge - Constitution Hall - Washington DC 10-… 29:46
AFRS 071 - It Pays To Be Ignorant - What Is A Shyster Lawyer 06-01-45 29:09
AFRS 071 - Yank Swing Session Guest - Johnny Mercer 1944 29:58
AFRS 075 - It Pays To Be Ignorant - What Is The Difference Between A Married Ma… 30:07
AFRS 079 - Music From America 05-08-44 30:10
AFRS 082 - Jubilee - International Sweethearts of Rhythm 05-29-44 30:56
AFRS 098 - Command Performance - Fred Allen - Ginny Simms - Gypsy Rose Lee - Be… 29:51
Afrs103-CommandPerformance-RobertYoung-GlennMiller-MaryMartin01-31-44 29:39
Afrs104-CommandPerformance-SecondAnniversaryShow02-01-44 29:38
AFRS 109 - Yank Swing Session Guest - Bob Crosby 1944 29:59
AFRS 126 - Command Performance - All-Western Program 06-24-44 29:50
AFRS 267 - Hymns From Home 15:11
AFRS 268 - Hymns From Home 15:16
AFRS 413 - Sound Off - First Song - Straighten Up And Fly Right 15:00
AFRS 414 - Sound Off - First Song - Heat Wave 14:58
AFRS Command Performance - VJ Day Special 09-02-45 28:58
AFRS New Years Dancing Party - Harry James - Count Basie - Freddy Martin 12-31-… 1:05:09


WWII Not of interest to all

(5 stars)

I played one of these old discs for my father who was present for the Battle of the Bulge, the bridge at Remagen and the liberation of Dachau. He asked me to turn it off because it made him remember. Of course, this is a part of our nation's history, and we should not forget. Thank you for posting these.