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)