In the first of what our Contributor says will be hundreds of recordings of Armed Forces Radio – some from LP, some from tape, here’s one that took a bit of time to nail down. I think this is from 1972. This is based upon the music. We know, for instance, that Derek & The Dominoes “Layla” was released in 1971, and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Chicago’s “Free” was another 1971 release. Guessing here, because the programs were not dated, there likely was a bit of lag time between when a song was released and when AFRTS decided to play it as a hit, we’ll put this as being sent to affiliates in 1972.
So, about those program dates. Well, the best way to explain this is to say, affiliate stations at the various bases and Navy ships would receive programs, either on tape or sometimes on LP. Each tape (we’ll just call it ‘media’) had a catalog number. That is to say, the media had a catalog number and each cut had it’s own catalog number. Now, say you’re the talent assigned to play a particular program or even song. You’d first have to go to a binder containing lists of all the programs and music contained on the media which got filed away at each station. Then you’d have to look up where a program is, on what record or tape and then go find it. And return it to exactly the same place when it’s done being played. Remember… the jocks here are usually guys in uniform (There were notable exceptions, when AFRTS enlisted the help of known radio talent stateside, or the well-known efforts of Casey Kasem to bring AT40 to the military bases around the world).
While your founder spent many years in uniform, it wasn’t on THAT radio side… I was a Navy Radioman, a job more in line with a ham radio operator and a teletype operator. But that’s a different story.
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We’re going to call this, “Tom Campbell on AFRTS Stateside #1”. Because there’s about a dozen of these files that Thom Whetston sent via a shared folder from Tom Campbell himself. This is an ORIGINAL aircheck that you won’t find anywhere else!
If you enjoy AFRTS airchecks, be sure to check out Thom Whetston’s collection right here on airchexx! Thom is the expert on military broadcasting!