Friday, June 16, 2017

YANK's AFN Radio Guide

I have a few issues of Yank magazine from 1943 and 1944. The official name was "Yank, the Army Weekly." It was published from June 17, 1942 through December of 1945. At it's peak, there were 21 different versions being printed in 17 countries with a circulation of over 2 million copies. There were different editions for Britain, India, Philippines, Pacific, Continental, Far East and others. Because of that wide distribution and popularity, you can find most issues on eBay today for between $5 and $10.  All of the 1944 issues contain an AFN radio guide, and all of those guides list a mix of highlighted programs . But all of them list either Yank's Radio Weekly, or Yank Radio Edition. But there is little information available about that program. I found the answer in the British Edition of the March 12, 1944 issue.
"We are indebted to the American Forces Network for making possible a new half-hour radio program sponsored by Yank, and called Yank's Radio Weekly. It's to be strictly an ETO feature, and will be broadcast this, and every other Saturday from 11:30 until 12. The announcer, assuming he can keep the London fog combed out of his larynx, will be Pvt. George W. Monaghan of the American Forces Network. You can tune in on this new venture by dialing 1375kc, 1402kc, 1411kc, 1420kc, 1447kc, 218.1m, 213.9m, 212.6m, 211.3m, and 207.3m"

AFN produced other programs as well, Duffle Bag, and On the Record which also appear in the Guide. George Monaghan wasn't British. He was an American from Connecticut. He had been broadcasting since 1938, and had previously been an announcer on 1200 WTHT-AM in Hartford. More here.  The book This is the American Forces Network by Patrick Morley goes into more detail about Monaghan, and the relevance of other AFN DJs like Johnny Kerr. Their style was a big departure from the BBC style of the era. It's worth the read.

But back to the guides. Let's be clear, the guide was not a radio schedule. It was just a list of highlighted programs, times and frequencies.  Some of my copies are British editions and you can see they give different frequencies. I am sure that not all 17 countries editions had radio  guides. Both of my 1943 issues lack the guide but that may be specific to the edition. I scanned and included a selection below:

A115 - NOVEMBER 12 1944 (National Barn Dance, Amos & Andy, Mildred Baily Show, American Band of the AEF, Music Hall, Command Performance, Yank's Radio Weekly, Football)

A122 - MAY 14 1944 (Jack Benny Show, Command Performance, Fred Allen Show, Bob Hope Show, Charlie McCarthy Show, Yank Radio Edition, Take The Air)

A123 - JULY 09 1944 (National Barn Dance, Hit Parade, Duffle Bag, Gay Nineties Revue, Bing Crosby, Kay Kyser, Yank's Radio Edition, Amos & Andy)

A124 - JULY 16 1944 (Bob Crosby, Combined Orchestrations, Burns & Allen, Bob Hope, GI Supper Club,  Fred Allen, Yank's Radio Edition, Conducted by Faith)

A125 - SEPT 17 1944 (Andre Kostelanetz, Village Store, GI Journal, Fred Allen, The American Band of the AEF, Bob Crosby, Yank's Radio Weekly, Eddie Condon's Jazz Session)

A126 - SEPT 24 1944 (Comedy Caravan, Amos & Andy, GI Journal, Music by Freddie Martin, Conducted by Faith, Duffy's Tavern, Yank's Radio Weekly, Saturday Night Serenade)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cleaning out the Archives! (revised!)

 I am cleaning out the archives again so I have several eBay auctions going on concurrently. All radio and music related of course. You chart-watchers will be very interested in this one. I am off-loading a set of the Joel Whitburn Billboard books. The man has his own Wikipedia article and he deserves it. Regardless, it's on eBay now so my hoarding can soon become your hoarding.

  • Bubbling under the Billboard Hot 100: 1959-2004 LINK
  • Pop Hits 1940-1954: Singles & Albums LINK
  • Top Country Singles, 1944 to 2001: Billboard's Country LINK
  • Christmas in the Charts, 1920-2004 LINK
  • Top Pop Singles: 1955-2002 LINK
  •  I also put up a big collection of 78 RPM paper sleeves LINK
  • Pop Memories, 1890-1954 : The History of American Popular Music LINK
  • Country Annual (1944 - 1947) LINK
  • Tascam DR-05 Handheld PCM Portable Digital Recorder LINK
  • Gakken Denshi Electronic Mini Blocks LINK
  • Parasound T/DQ-1600 Broadcast Reference Tuner LINK
  • Lot of 8 Yank Magazines LINK

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pedo Radio

You can't make this stuff up. If you haven't heard the story, I can give you the short version. Paul Lotsof, the owner of 97.7 KAVV (Cave-FM) in Benson, AZ has been broadcasting a PSA for 2 years with the theme of hiding child porn, and proposing shorter sentences for child pornographers. Just to complete the stereotype let me also note that KAVV is a country music station. You don't need the audio, the transcript is from an alternate universe. More here and here.
"Nearly every day, somebody gets arrested for violating Arizona's child pornography law. Arizona's child pornography law is the most stringent in the nation in that it prescribes a mandatory 10-year prison sentence for each photo that you have of a naked juvenile in a sexually-suggestive pose. That means that if you're caught with six such pictures of somebody under the age of 18, you go to prison for 60 years... If you have such material, you can save yourselves and your family a ton of grief and save the taxpayers a lot of money by never storing such pictures on the hard drive of your computer. Always use an external drive and hide it where nobody will ever find it. Likewise, never keep paper pictures, tapes or films of naked juveniles where anybody else can find them.""
So what kind of town is Benson, AZ? It lies in South East Arizona, and sports a population of only about 4,700. It's in the desert plains so it's dry, hot and rarely rains. People stay in doors a lot in Cochise County.  To their credit, the town isn't tone-deaf on the issue. Sheriff Mark Dannels opened an investigation to determine if the PSA is illegal enough to file charges. However, he did wait almost two years to do that. But Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre decided that Lotsof was protected by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment safeguarding free speech.  This seems doubtful since incitement to comit a crime is usually a crime in and of itself. FYI: hiding evidence is a crime.

It was only after KPHO-TV 5 (CBS) ran a story on the problem and contacted Lotsof that the wheels of justice began to turn. More here. Paul Lotsof defended himself poorly in the interview.
"Please take notice that the PSA in question does not condone child pornography in any way; it merely points out that the penalties for possession of child pornography are draconian, to the extent that the real victims are the people serving these incredibly long sentences. The suggestion that anyone in possession of such material be warned to get rid of it or take steps to avoid prosecution serves to emphasize that the penalty provisions of the law – calling for 10 years’ imprisonment per image – are so extreme that the greater harm is in the enforcement of the law. The PSA does provide factual information and that information is perfectly accurate and important."
Lotsof clearly thinks he's trying to accomplish something. But I doubt he's actually is. I recall that it was pornographer Larry Flynt that won a notable first amendment victory in 1988. Free speech advances can come from unexpected quarters. But tt is one thing to be a First Amendment crusader, or a incarceration reform crusader... but Mr. Lotsof has written a few editorials on his own website, and he cannot seem to explicate himself even in his own forum.
“Judging by the posts on Facebook and other web sites it is clear that a lot of people have managed to misunderstand what I said in my one minute announcement. Many people seem to think that I have expressed the opinion that child abuse is fine and dandy. I never said that. These same people think I said that production of child pornography is fine and dandy. I never said that. Others think that I believe that dissemination of child pornography is fine and dandy. I never said that. Still others think that I’m telling people to break the law. I never said that. Some conclude that I must be a pedophile. I am not a pedophile and I don’t have any child pornography in my possession and have a hard time understanding why anyone would want it. But I do understand that there are some folks out there who do like this material and I feel some sympathy for their plight.”
I don't think anyone cries tears over the plight of pedophiles except Mr. Lotsof. Nonetheless after his advertisers revolted he stopped running the PSA.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Little Lord Fauntleroy Bandy

Even the great Jerry Blavat called John Bandy an influence.  But before Bandy was in the Philadelphia area, he was a DJ in DC. In the book Divided Soul, by David Ritz, is a single reference to a certain leganday Washington D.C. area DJ:
"Among the black kids back in the neighborhood, the fifties in D.C. was an age of hot curlers, outrageous conks, and do rags.  The crowd was greasing up and straightening out their hair. It was a time when Little Lord Fauntleroy Bandy ruled the airwaves at WUST..."
In the fifties radio was about showman ship ans shtick. The Lord Fauntleroy shtick was genius. On 1120 WUST-AM, a 250 watt daytimer he needed it. He hammed it up and wore tailored suits with a waist coat and an ascot.  He brought hours of the hippest R&B to DC airwaves. As the Lord Fauntleroy Bandy, he spoke in a fake British accent on air. The accent was perfect, so perfect many people thought that he was white. But even off air Bandy didn't sound like he was from the Mid-Atlantic, he and his family were from Jamaica. Jet Magazine relished linking the dapper John Bandy to various singers and starlets. In 1954 it was Beauty Shop owner Meta Cardoza, before that TV singer June Gaskins. More here.

In 1960 Bob Klein hired Bandy at WDAS-FM in Philadelphia, where he became the assistant general manager. Multiple sources describe Bandy as adlib "rapping" over records at WDAS, which would be one of the earliest references to rapping in a hip-hop context. One of those sources was his fellow WDAS DJ and rapper,  Jocko Henderson. "The Lord of Rhyme bringin' the sound from out of the ground to your part of town!"

By 1963, Bandy was appointed a WDAS corporate vice president by station CEO Max M. Leon. Bandy later had a short-lived stint hosting TV talk show on Channel 5, WNEW-TV. It debuted in February of 1971 and lasted eight episodes. He didn't really need the job, he'd married Gulf Oil heiress Roberta Pew in 1976. The book Voice Over by William Barlow claims he retired to a country estate in Bryn Mawr, outside Philadelphia. In retirement they funded a number of civic projects and organizations. Bandy died in the late 1990s.

I have often wondered if he or Sir Walter Raleigh (John Christian) on WAMO in Pittsburgh (and later WEEP) picked up the faux-British shtick first. Christian, who started out at WILY-AM, also liberally applied a British accent, and wore a English butler suit with tails and a monocle. Christian first hit the air in about 1955 so they were active more or less concurrently. But I suspect either may have gotten it from Lord Buckley in one way or another. Buckley was actually British, but his lordship too was self-enobled. Buckley claims he got his shtick from another DC area hipster... Cab Calloway.

Friday, May 05, 2017

London Underground Circuit Maps

The image above is by Yuri Suzuki, who is also the designer of this radio circuit. Yes, it’s a working radio. Some naysayers have claimed the copper is all shorted together but Suzuki cleverly isolated the paths necessary to rectify an AM signal. It was been installed at the Design Museum in London in 2012 so it may be heard as well. Harry Beck would be proud. More here.