(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 - (variety replacement) Ozzie & Harriet - Ozzie's Good Deed 12-03-44 29:48
AFRS 001 - If Freedom Fails - A Matter of Fact - Gregory Peck - Raymond Burr xx… 30:11
AFRS 002 - If Freedom Fails - The Ballplayers - James Whitmore xx-xx-51 30:06
AFRS 003 - If Freedom Failed - The Pledge - Jeffrey Silver xx-xx-51 30:16
AFRS 013 - Great Gildersleeve - Royal Visit 11-21-43 29:47
AFRS 016 - Sports Quiz (first question) Who Hit Most Home Runs National League 30:22
AFRS 0168 - Downbeat - Freddy Martin (first song) Lily Belle 15:07
AFRS 0169 - Downbeat - Freddy Martin (first song) Rosemary 15:06
AFRS 0295 - Remember - (host) Robert Young - (first song) String Of Pearls - Gl… 15:07
AFRS 0296 - Remember - (host) Robert Young - (first song) What Is This Thing Ca… 15:05
AFRS 052 - Burns & Allen - The Wrecked Car 10-17-44 29:37
AFRS 0732 - One Night Stand - Jan Savitt (first song) Rose Room 09-18-45 30:08
AFRS 0870 - One Night Stand - Jimmy Dorsey (first song) Let It Snow 01-23-46 30:06
AFRS 0871 - One Night Stand - Harry James (first song) Jump Sauce 02-10-46 30:11
AFRS 089 - Music America Loves Best (first song) I Love Thee (Ich liebe dich) 0… 30:22
AFRS 123 - Waltz Time (first song) If I Had A Dozen Hearts 02-08-46 30:22
AFRS 132 - Family Hour (replaced by Harvest Of Stars) - Pike's Peak Or Bust - R… 29:58
AFRS 154 - Hit Parade - 09-29-45 29:59
AFRS 166 - Music For Sunday (guest) Bing Crosby 30:12
AFRS 167 - Music Hall - Bing Crosby - Frank Morgan 02-14-46 30:17
AFRS 171 - Music From America 30:12
AFRS 185 - Mail Call - Dinah Shore - Andy Russell 03-06-46 30:10


Gildersleeve date documentation

(5 stars)

The date of the Gildersleeve program in this batch is October 10, 1943 for the original network broadcast, based on the recently published book that documents the series. Thanks again for posting these!