(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 - Peace Is the Lady With Wings - USAF 41th anniversary xx-xx-48 30:26
AFRS 003 - Dick Powell Theater - (Richard Diamond) The Rawlins Case 01-26-51 29:55
AFRS 005 - Duffys Tavern - (guest) Milton Berle 01-05-43 28:41
AFRS 016 - California Melodies - first song - I'll See You in My Dreams 04-29-44 30:30
AFRS 025 - California Melodies - First Song - Anything Goes 07-15-44 30:22
AFRS 033 - Hildegarde - Eddie Cantor - Bert Gordon 12-04-45 29:03
AFRS 039 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - Highway Polka 09-01-44 14:49
AFRS 040 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - I Don't Want To Know About… 14:59
AFRS 041 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - Tired Teddy Bear 09-05-44 13:52
AFRS 042 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - I Don't Want To Love You 0… 14:53
AFRS 045 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - I Just Can't Help It 09-11… 14:53
AFRS 046 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - Happy as the Day Is Long 0… 14:29
AFRS 047 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - Crazy Rhythm 09-13-44 14:39
AFRS 048 - Johnny Mercer's Music Shop - First Song - When It's Roundup Time in … 14:33
AFRS 049 - Just Jazz - Louis Armstrong and his All Stars - first song - The Low… 29:45
AFRS 053 - GI Journal - Bing Crosby - Peter Lorre - Mel Blanc 07-21-44 29:24
AFRS 066 - Guy Lombardo 05-07-45 (missing intro) 29:33
AFRS 074 - Just Jazz - Wingy Manone 29:51
AFRS 098 - Mail Call - Herbert Marshall - Marjorie Main - Gloria DeHaven 06-28-… 29:18
AFRS 134 - Command Performance - Judy Garland - Danny Kaye - Helen Forrest 08-1… 29:46
AFRS 137 - Hit Parade 06-02-45 (first song skips) 29:51
AFRS 137 - Music Views from Hollywood - Billy May Orchestra - xx-xx-55 30:27
AFRS 138 - Music Views From Hollywood - Joe Fingers Carr xx-xx-55 29:59
AFRS P-483 - Basic Music Library - Frank Sinatra (Axel Stordahl Orch), 1st Song… 11:09
AFRS P-484 - Basic Music Library - Alvino Rey & AFRS Orch, 1st Song - It's Gonn… 9:48


Hurrah for the Armed Forces Radio Service!!

(5 stars)

It must have done much for the morale of the American WWII troops to have these broadcasts from home. I can imagine these wonderful shows were enjoyed by the enemy listening in as well, making them a great source of unintentional (?) propaganda in favor of the democratic way of life. I doubt very much that anything the Nazis beamed to their armies was in any way entertaining Thanks, uploader!