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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 - This Is The Story - A Czech Ear For American Music 05-24-47


AFRS - This Is The Story - Army Music 03-23-47


AFRS 004 - This Is The Story - The Monkey's Cage - Walter Kingsford 01-24-51


AFRS 011 - This Is The Story - An American Trilogy - Thomas Wolfe 06-13-44


AFRS 016 - This Is The Story - Reluctant Fighter - John Brown


AFRS 049 - This Is The Story - Arctic Miracle - Scott Brady 11-27-50


AFRS 065 - Just Between Us - Knox Manning


AFRS 066 - Just Between Us - Knox Manning


AFRS 147 - Solitary Singer - Terry Gilyson - (first song) Durant Jail


AFRS 148 - Solitary Singer - Terry Gilyson - (first song) The Old Man Under The…


AFRS C-355 - Music Transcription Library - The Philadelphia Orchestra - Concert…


AFRS C-356 - Music Transcription Library - The Philadelphia Orchestra - Concert…


AFRS L-039 - Music Transcription Library - Tito Guizar - (first song) Ay,Ay,Ay!…


AFRS L-040 - Music Transcription Library - Enric Madriguera - (first song) Rica…


AFRS P-1805 - Music Transcription Library - Ralph Marterie - (first song) So Lo…


AFRS P-1806 - Music Transcription Library - Ray Anthony - (first song) My Prayer


AFRS P-1807 - Music Transcription Library - Doris Day - Harry James - (first so…


AFRS P-1808 - Music Transcription Library - Mel Torme - Pete Rugolo - (first so…


AFRS P-1813 - Music Transcription Library - Hugo Winterhalter - (first song) So…


AFRS P-1814 - Music Transcription Library - Russ Morgan - (first song) The Metr…


AFRS P-1815 - Music Transcription Library - Paul Weston - (first song) In Your …


AFRS P-1816 - Music Transcription Library - Paul Weston - (first song) Perhaps …


AFRS R-095 - Music Transcription Library - Hymns - Lew White (Pipe Organ) - (fi…


AFRS R-096 - Music Transcription Library - Hymns - Lew White (Pipe Organ) - (fi…


AFRS W-405 - Music Transcription Library - Ernest Tubb - Red Foley - Ramblin' J…


AFRS W-406 - Music Transcription Library - Gene Oquin (first song) I Get The Bl…