(4.5 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.


0633 GI Jive - Count Basie - Jazz Me Blues 14:57
0634 GI Jive - Pied Pipers - Keep On Swingin' 15:02
1035 GI Jive - First Song - Swing Low Sweet Chariot - Benny Goodman 15:05
1036 GI Jive - First Song - Opus One - Jimmy Dorsey 15:04
AFRS-005 World In Music - Songs From Spain 15:12
AFRS-040 Serenade For Strings - The AFRS String Orchestra 15:08
AFRS-071 Yank Bandstand - Lt George Patton & His CB's - Camp Parks California -… 15:07
AFRS-072 Yank Bandstand - Lt George Patton & His CB's - Camp Parks California -… 15:05
AFRS 026 - Jubilee - Louis Armstrong 05-24-43 29:23
AFRS 040 - Swingtime - First Song - The Sunny Side Of The Street - Mel Torme - … 30:07
AFRS 053 - Science Magazine Of The Air - How Your Baby Grows 30:31
AFRS 053 - This Is The Story - The Tabernacle In Duke's Place 10-29-44 25:06
AFRS 062 - Concert Hall - (Host) Lionel Barrymore - Bartlett and Robertson - Fi… 30:04
AFRS 082 - Jubilee - International Sweethearts of Rhythm 05-29-44 30:45
AFRS 09 - Suspense - The ABC Murders 05-18-43 30:01
AFRS 133 - At Ease - The Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra 15:13
AFRS 134 - At Ease - The Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra 15:14
AFRS 149 - At Ease - The Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra 15:03
AFRS 150 - At Ease - The Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra 15:13
AFRS 273 - Hymns From Home 15:17
AFRS 274 - Hymns From Home 15:14
AFRS 293 - Words With Music (with poetry) - Edith Barrett 15:00
Afrs 294 - Words With Music (without poetry) 14:59
AFRS 295 - Words With Music (with poetry) - Edith Barrett 14:43
AFRS 296 - Words With Music (without poetry) 14:27
AFRS 679 - Personal Album - Helen Forrest - First Song - I Surrender Dear 15:04
AFRS 680 - Personal Album - Joan Edwards - First Song - Long Ago and Far Away 15:07
AFRS 681 - Personal Album - Johnny Mercer - First Song - How Many Hearts Have Y… 15:00
AFRS 682 - Personal Album - Dick Haymes - First Song - Is You Is Or Is You Ain'… 15:04



(4.5 stars)

Good compilation - a little scratchy in parts - but fabulous to be able to listen to the “vibes” of yester - year:) Thanks!