Posts

Showing posts with the label Command Performance

Old Time Radio's Debt to AFRS

Image
The War Department created the Armed Forces Radio Service on May 26, 1942. The directive brought together separate attempts at broadcasting by and for military personnel. Some of these projects had mission significance, but largely they were attempts on the part of soldiers to entertain their barracks mates. In 1954 Television was added to the service, as well as a less than flattering moniker (AFRTS, "A-Farts"), which has held on even after the 1994 renaming as "The Armed Forces Network". Hollywood began providing free or extremely low priced programming to the AFRS from the very beginning, and this tradition was strengthened after Pearl Harbor. The explosion of patriotism as America entered the War explains this to a certain extent. It is also easy to believe that despite the very public pedestal radio celebrities perched, most held genuine affection and admiration for the boys in uniform. No name is more connected with performing for the troops than  Bob

Bob Hope Christmas Programs

Image
The USNS Bob Hope (T-AKR-300) is the lead ship in her class of Maritime Preposition Ship. The Maritime Prepositioning Ships carry enough ammunition and equipment to support an Marine Task Force for 30 days, allowing for the rapid deployment of men, knowing that their equipment will meet them in theater within days of call up. It is one of the few vessels in the Navy inventory which went against long standing Naval tradition to be named for a person who was living at the time of commissioning. This is all the more appropriate when you consider that Bob Hope's first war-time performance was at sea. Hope was on board the RMS Queen Mary in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, beginning WWII. In order to help calm the panicking passengers, hope volunteered to give a special performance, singing "Thanks for the Memory" with rewritten lyrics. Bob Hope would be best known for his work to entertain the troops. John Steinbeck, who was a War Correspondent during the War,

The Request Performance Sign In Log

Image
Those of us who enjoy Old Time Radio for its great entertainment value often forget that the programs are also a snapshot of history. The shows themselves, however, aren't the only surviving artifacts from the history of broadcast. A case in point is the Sign-In Log from the program Request Performance . The program was a "civilian version" of the Wartime AFRS program Command Performance . The idea of both programs was that the listeners (troops stationed overseas for  Command Performance , and the general listening public for the post-war version) would write in with requests for specific performers in unique situations. The producers made it no secret that the most original requests would get the most attention. Nonetheless, Command Performance did tend to feature the sound of a lot of starlets marching in combat boots. The Sign-In Log was kept in the studio, and signed by the performers at the end of the live broadcast. The Sign-In Log sheets were l